The Falcons had been scheduled to interview Todd Bowles for a second time today, but were well aware the Jets may not let him leave, tweets Alex Marvez of Fox Sports, adding that Atlanta “wasn’t totally sold” on Bowles. With a pair of presumed finalists – Bowles and Rex Ryan – now off the table, the Falcons’ top options appear to be Seahawks defensive coordinator Dan Quinn and Lions defensive coordinator Teryl Austin. With Austin due in for a second meeting today, it’ll be interesting to see whether the Falcons decide to move on him or wait for Quinn, who may not become available until February.
Here’s more from around the NFC South:
- You can debate whether Cam Newton is worth a six-year, $100MM+ contract, which is what it might take to lock him up, but it would be a mistake for the Panthers not to work out an extension with him, argues David Newton of ESPN.com. With Newton preparing to enter a contract year, “the time is now” to reach a multiyear agreement with the quarterback, Newton adds.
- New Buccaneers offensive coordinator Dirk Koetter says he doesn’t have a clue which player the Bucs will take with the No. 1 overall pick. He has a big decision to make when it comes to Marcus Mariota and Jameis Winston, writes Rick Stroud of the Tampa Bay Times.
- As Michael David Smith of Pro Football Talk details, former Falcons tight end Tony Gonzalez says he didn’t miss football during his first year of retirement, although he briefly had “a 2% urge to get out there.” That slight urge wasn’t nearly enough to sway him when teams showed interest during the season, according to the future Hall-of-Famer. “Some teams reached out to me. A couple teams. I’m not going to name who they were,” Gonzalez said. “I’m about 230 pounds now. I’m afraid I would get crushed out on the football field now.”