NFC South Rumors: Buccaneers, Falcons, Panthers, Saints



  • According to ESPN’s Dan Graziano and Jeremy Fowler, the Buccaneers are believed to be evaluating Chargers QB Philip Rivers. The two also mention retirement isn’t out of the question for Rivers. 
  • Fowler and Graziano say the buzz from the Combine is that the Buccaneers will go all-in and try to sign all their star defensive free agents while also working on an extension for linebacker Lavonte David after free agency.
  • Peter King believes QB Jameis Winston is “likely” to leave Tampa Bay this offseason. However, King doubts he’ll be able to secure a starting job with another team.
  • The Buccaneers were among the most interested teams in FIU QB James Morgan at the Combine. (Eric Edholm)
  • Fresno State OL Netane Muti has met with 27 teams, of which the Buccaneers are one of the ones that have shown the most interest. (Thor Nystrom)


  • According to D. Orlando Ledbetter of the Atlanta Journal-Constitution, the Falcons will be looking for a hybrid safety/linebacker in free agency as well as another pass rusher. Some bargain options could include Colts DE Jabaal Sheard, Broncos DE Jeremiah Attaochu and Dolphins restricted free agent LB Vince Biegel.
  • The Falcons had a formal and informal interview with Kansas OT Hakeem Adeniji, who projects as a guard in the NFL, at the Combine. (Ledbetter)


  • According to the Athletic’s Jourdan Rodrigue, league sources at the Combine were still skeptical the Panthers will stick with QB Cam Newton despite HC Matt Rhule’s comments and say there still could be a trade market for him in June if he’s healthy. 
  • Rodrigue says Panthers RB Christian McCaffrey‘s camp plans to focus on his versatility as Carolina’s leading receiver during upcoming contract negotiations. Rodrigue adds McCaffrey does have some leverage as the team’s best player if he chose to hold out. 
  • Rodrigue mentions there are differing opinions within the team on if a complete rebuild is necessary. If it is, that increases the likelihood of Carolina actually trying to trade McCaffrey. 
  • Per Rodrigue, the Panthers made an initial offer to CB James Bradberry in November. However, the two sides were far enough apart that Bradberry started preparing for free agency. 
  • Rodrigue notes the Panthers are interested in re-signing DE Mario Addison to a short, team-friendly deal, while they are preparing to let DT Gerald McCoy, DE Bruce Irvin and DT Vernon Butler walk. They also won’t get into a bidding war for S Tre Boston
  • Carolina isn’t ruling out drafting an offensive tackle in the first round, while G Greg Van Roten would like to remain with the Panthers. 
  • The Panthers were among the most interested teams in FIU QB James Morgan at the Combine. (Eric Edholm)


  • According to ESPN’s Dan Graziano and Jeremy Fowler, Saints QB Drew Brees is expected to re-sign with the team before free agency begins on March 18. 
  • Despite Utah State QB Jordan Love being a frequent pick for the Saints in mock drafts, the Athletic’s Larry Holder doesn’t get the sense at this time that New Orleans is enamored with Love to the point it would spend a first-round pick on him.
  • Conversely, Holder said he was told to watch Georgia QB Jake Fromm if he wanted to see a quarterback the Saints might be interested in. 
  • Sports Illustrated’s Albert Breer says Saints DT David Onyemata could sign a deal worth more than $10 million per year in free agency. 
  • Utah RB Zack Moss had a formal interview with the Saints at the Combine. (Josh Newman)
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