NFC South Notes: Falcons, Panthers, Saints



Regarding Luke Kuechly announcing his retirement Tuesday night, Panthers owner David Tepper called the linebacker a “once-in-a-generation” player and wishes he could play “for many more years.” 

“While I wish we could have him for many more years, he has done everything the right way and we respect the decision he’s made. Luke is a once-in-a-generation player and someone we want every member of this organization to emulate,” said Tepper, via Max Henson of the official team wesbite.

  • The Athletic’s Jeff Duncan reports that the Panthers “sought permission” to interview Saints assistant OL coach Brendan Nugent, but was denied given they are a divisional opponent. 
  • Sports Illustrated’s Ross Dellenger also reports Panthers’ new OC Joe Brady has control to hire his own staff and could be interested in hiring LSU offensive analyst D.J. Mangas. 
  • Sports Illustrated’s Albert Breer says Brady is well-respected in NFL circles for his work as a Saints QC coach and LSU offensive coordinator, quoting one AFC executive: “He just does a good job of mixing it up, RPOs, play action, it’s a good, versatile offense. He knows how to flood zones and give his quarterback multiple layers to throw to. And he understands the passing game really well and knows how to marry the run game to it. He gives you a lot of looks and gives the quarterback options.”
  • If the Panthers elect to trade QB Cam Newton this offseason, the Athletic’s Joseph Person mentions Saints QB Teddy Bridgewater as an option given his familiarity with Brady. 


  • ESPN’s Mike Triplett says while the Saints currently are projected to have about $5 million in cap space, which seems daunting considering the number of extensions they’ll be considering this offseason, that projection includes $21.3 million in dead money for QB Drew Brees that the team can push back with another deal. 
  • Triplett notes it’s possible Saints RB Alvin Kamara could hold out in 2020 given he’s entering the last year of his contract and will likely want some long-term security. 
  • New Orleans also faces decisions at cornerback, with the Saints likely needing to choose between re-signing CB Eli Apple or restructuring and bringing back CB Janoris Jenkins
  • Triplett adds Saints CB P.J. Williams is unlikely to be back in 2020 at his current $4.9 million cap hit. 
  • Out of their remaining free agents, Triplett says there are good arguments to move on from WR Ted Ginn, G Andrus Peat, DT David Onyemata and S Vonn Bell given their age, inconsistency or the presence of other younger players on the roster. 
  • Triplett mentions the Saints will likely have to pick between LBs A.J. Klein and Kiko Alonso, the latter of which is a likely pay-cut candidate following his ACL injury. 

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