NFC Notes: Falcons, Orakpo, Bears, Panthers

We’re still waiting for resolution on one of the biggest NFC stories this month, with a decision from arbitrator Stephen Burbank on Jimmy Graham‘s franchise position designation expected this week. While we await Burbank’s call on whether the Saints star is a tight end or wide receiver, let’s check out a few more items from around the conference….

  • Wide receiver Roddy White appears poised to play out his entire current contract with the Falcons, a rarity in an era where players are often cut or forced to renegotiate with time still remaining on their deals. As Jason Fitzgerald of Over the Cap observes, that makes White’s contract one of the best on Atlanta’s books. Sam Baker‘s is the worst contract currently being carried by the club, in Fitzgerald’s view.
  • Playing on a one-year franchise tag, linebacker Brian Orakpo has a big year ahead of him, says’s John Keim. While the Redskins selected Trent Murphy with their first pick in last month’s draft, neither the team nor Orakpo himself views Murphy as Orakpo’s future replacement, meaning a productive season from the veteran linebacker could result in a longer-term deal with Washington.
  • It’s not clear how many tight ends the Bears will keep on their regular season roster, but Michael C. Wright of thinks Martellus Bennett, Matthew Mulligan, and Dante Rosario will make the cut.
  • In a mailbag at, David Newton fields questions on Greg Hardy, Edmund Kugbila, and other Panthers-related topics.
  • Rainer Sabin of the Dallas Morning News previews the Cowboys‘ special teams unit for the 2014 season.
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