NFC South Rumors: Buccaneers, Panthers, Saints



New HC Bruce Arians had high praise for RB Peyton Barber, the team’s leading rusher the past two seasons. 

“I love him,” Arians said via the Athletic’s Greg Auman. “When you watch the tape, you don’t see him as 230. You see him as a 205-pound running back with great feet. Not every back’s going to be a home-run hitter, but he gets those 10-, 15-yard runs, breaking tackles, a power runner, punishing runner, that’s the kind I like to start. When we’re building something, that’s the kind I want to build around.”

GM Jason Licht said the Bucs could either keep Barber with a high tender, like the second-round tender at $3 million, or could work to negotiate an extension. 

  • Sports Illustrated’s Albert Breer thinks Tampa Bay could use the franchise tag on OT Donovan Smith.  
  • Per Auman, Licht is hopeful the move to a 3-4 on defense causes a “rebirth” for DE Noah Spence
  • The Bucs plan to move on from QB Ryan Fitzpatrick, as Licht says QB Jameis Winston will be best served by “not having him look over his shoulder.”


  • Carolina HC Ron Rivera said everything has been “positive” with QB Cam Newton‘s rehab from shoulder surgery. (David Newton)
  • Rivera added he likes the current depth at QB and the Panthers won’t look for a QB in free agency, but would not rule out drafting one. (Joe Person)
  • Reducing the number of snaps, not necessarily touches, for RB Christian McCaffrey will be on the agenda for the Panthers according to Rivera.  (Jourdan Rodrigue)
  • Rivera says OT Matt Kalil is a part of the team’s plans in 2019 despite speculation he would be released to free up cap space.  (Newton)
  • Rivera confirmed TE Greg Olsen told him he wants to return for the 2019 season.  (Rodrigue)
  • The Panthers met with Clemson OL Mitch Hyatt.  (Marcel Louis-Jacques)
  • Carolina also met with Ole Miss OT Greg Little.  (Louis-Jacques)


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