NFC South Notes: Falcons, Panthers, Saints



  • Per ESPN’s Vaughn McClure, Falcons QB Matt Ryan is meeting up with teammates in California to work out together, potentially including WR Julio Jones and RB Todd Gurley.
  • Over The Cap’s Jason Fitzgerald has the Falcons ranked in the bottom tier in his cap health index for 2021, which measures a team’s estimated cap space, cap flexibility and pending free agents. 


Former Panthers QB Cam Newton still doesn’t have a team in part due to continued questions about his health and his inability to take a physical with a team. One of his former teammates, FB Mike Tolbert, says Carolina didn’t do him any favors by waiting to release him as long as they did. Even before that, Tolbert thinks the Panthers share some blame for Newton’s injury history. 

“They’ve been doing him wrong timing-wise for the past two or three years, if you ask me,” Tolbert said via the Athletic’s Joe Person. “It goes back to his shoulder surgery. Everyone knew his shoulder was messed up in the middle of the year two years ago. But they wait until offseason gets ready to start to have shoulder surgery. Makes no sense. Timing’s off. As soon as he got hurt (last) preseason against the Patriots, they were saying, ‘Oh, he’s got a high-ankle sprain.’ I looked at it on film carefully. It’s not a high-ankle sprain. You could tell that 10 minutes after the play. You knew it’s a mid-foot sprain, Lisfranc, something like that. But you wait until December for him to beg you to have surgery. He shouldn’t have been out there Week One and Two. He shouldn’t have been out there probably until Week Four or Five, at minimum.”

Asked about Tolbert’s comments, Panthers GM Marty Hurney demurred comment while supporting the team’s medical staff. 

“I understand,” Hurney said via WFNZ. “Everyone is going to have their opinions, and they’re certainly entitled to them. I have great respect for our medical staff and I have great respect for Cam Newton.”

  • The Panthers have received a proposal to host their training camp at the Greenbrier Resort in West Virginia along with the Lions. The resort hosted the Saints from 2014-2016 and the Texans from 2017-2018 for camp. (Pro Football Talk)


  • Saints’ new OLB Anthony Chickillo said he expects to play in a two-point stance this season as an edge rusher. “I know I’m putting my hand back down in the dirt. In Pittsburgh, we were in a two-point stance. We were in a 3-4 and still on some passing situations I was able to put my hand down, so its not like I haven’t done in the past five years.” (Katherine Terrell)
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