Behind Enemy Lines is a weekly look at Tampa Bay’s NFC South foes every Tuesday morning. Let’s spy on the Bucs’ division rivals, shall we?

Atlanta Falcons

Salary Cap Space: $4,152,104 (OverTheCap.com)
Unrestricted Free agents:
RB/KR/PR Kenjon Barner
FB Keith Smith
WR Justin Hardy
TE Austin Hooper
OG Wes Schweitzer
DE Steven Means
DE Adrian Clayborn
DT Jack Crawfor
P Matt Bosher
DT Tyeler Davison
LB De’Vondre Campbell
LB/S Kemal Ishmael
CB Blidi Wreh-Wilson
S J.J. Wilcox
S Johnathan Cyprien
S Sharrod Neasman

Falcons LB Vic Beasley

Falcons LB Vic Beasley – Photo by: Getty Images

• The Falcons have previously gone on record as saying they won’t re-sign former first round pick Vic Beasley, who will be able to negotiate with any team next week.

• It is looking more and more like tight end Austin Hooper will be allowed to test the free agent market next week. The Falcons would like to have him back, but most likely won’t pay him what he could command on the open market thought to be in excess of $10 million per season.

• Reports are the Falcons have come to terms with former Bucs pass rusher Steven Means and Lukayus McNeil on one-year deals. Means ended the 2019 season on IR after suffering an Achilles injury.

• Adrian Clayborn, another former Bucs player, will be on the move again this years as reports out of Atlanta are Clayborn won’t be back with the Falcons.

• With such little cap space, the Falcons aren’t expected to be major players in free agency next week, but instead will try and find starts in the draft next month where they hold three of the first 55 selections.

Carolina Panthers

Salary Cap Space: $34,008,233 (OverTheCap.com)
Unrestricted Free Agents: 
DE Mario Addison
S Tre Boston
CB James Bradberry
DT Vernon Butler
CB Ross Cockrell
CB Javien Elliott
WR Chris Hogan
DE Wes Horton
OLB Bruce Irvin
DT Kyle Love
DT Gerald McCoy
NT Stacy McGee
G Greg Van Roten

• Exclusive rights free agent quarterback Kyle Allen and the Panthers agreed to a one-year deal this week, reportedly worth $585,000. Allen, who started 12 games for the Panthers in relief of an injured Cam Newton, won his first four starts. What that means for Newton is still up in the air. but it could be sign that the Newton era in Carolina may be coming to an end.

Bucs QB Jameis Winston

Bucs QB Jameis Winston – Photo by: Cliff Welch/PR

• The Panthers would like to bring defensive end Mario Addison back, but the 32-year old plans to test free agency beginning next week. Addison has notched 39 sacks over the past four seasons for Carolina. The team spent a first-round draft pick on Bryan Burns last year to eventually replace him.

• Carolina won’t be picking up Dontari Poe’s option and the defensive tackle will be free to sign with any team when free agency kicks off next Tuesday.

New Orleans Saints

Salary Cap Space: $9,323,192 (OverTheCap.com)
Unrestricted Free agents:
QB Drew Brees
QB Teddy Bridgewater
LB A.J. Klein
CB Eli Apple
WR Ted Ginn Jr.
T Andrus Peat
CB P.J. Williams
FB Zach Line
S Vonn Bell
CB Johnson Bademosi
T Patrick Omameh
LB Stephone Anthony
LB Josh Martin
LB Manti Te’o
DT David Onyemata
DE Noah Spence
RB Dwayne Washington
DB D.J. Swearinger

• The Saints have flirted with the Super Bowl the last few years and are poised to make one last run with quarterback Drew Brees. But Brees coming back doesn’t guarantee anything as New Orleans has a number of key player who are set to become free agents and just under $10 million in cap space to work with currently. The secondary could be hit particularly hard with cornerbacks Eli Apple, P.J. Williams and safety Vonn Bell as possible departures.

Bucs CB Carlton Davis - Photo by: Mary Holt/PR

Bucs CB Carlton Davis – Photo by: Mary Holt/PR

• New Orleans will also need to find some receiving help opposite of record-setting Pro Bowler Michael Thomas. Veteran Ted Ginn, Jr. might not be back in New Orleans and the roster is very thin in experience behind that duo. Several mock drafts have the Saints taking a wide receiver in the first round.

• Linebacker A.J. Klein could also be on the move from the somewhat cash-strapped Saints. The team saw a lot of injuries at linebacker last year, but have committed to linebackers Demario Davis ($9.9 million) and Kiko Alonso ($6.4 million) and paying very much for Klein doesn’t look to be an option. Expect Klein to test the open market and possibly be back in New Orleans if the demand isn’t very high.

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About the Author: Mark Cook

Mark Cook currently is the director of editorial content and Bucs beat writer and has written for PewterReport.com since 2011. Cook has followed the Buccaneers since 1977 when he first began watching football with his Dad and is fond of the 1979 Bucs team that came within 10 points of going to a Super Bowl. His favorite Bucs game is still the 1979 divisional playoff win 24-17 over the Eagles. In his spare time Cook enjoys playing guitar, fishing, the beach and family time.Cook is a native of Pinecrest in Eastern Hillsborough County and has written for numerous publications including the Tampa Tribune, In the Field and Ya'll Magazine. Cook can be reached at mark@pewterreport.com
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awwdembucs
1 year ago

So many players will be changing teams. If the Bucs can’t keep Nassib whom I like. Vic Beasley maybe worth a look. A 1 year prove it. In this defense he may do well.

fredster
1 year ago

McCoy will be looking at big pay cut. Panthers overpaid him IMO.

Alldaway 2.0
1 year ago

I can see Arians wanting Ginn if the Bucs can’t resign Perriman.

Also, lots of defensive talent the Panthers are letting hit the market due to coaching change as well as lack of cap space.

Redtop5588
1 year ago

If Bucs can’t keep Nassib I don’t see them getting Beasley I dont know but I think Vic would cost more then Nassib

WhatTheBuc
1 year ago

Beasley played well at the end of the season but he’s likely to sign a 1 year deal similar to what Shaq got last year

scubog
1 year ago

Sure a big difference between the 80+ million in cap space the Bucs have compared to the deep hole in which our NFC South brethren find themselves. Guess someone in the front office has been minding the books.