NFC Notes: Bucs, Panthers, Saints, Cutler

Wide receiver Louis Murphy agreed to a three-year extension with the Buccaneers yesterday, and the 27-year-old is thrilled to be sticking around Tampa. The former fourth-rounder said as much to Rick Stroud of the Tampa Bay Times:

“I believe in this team, I believe in coach Lovie (Smith), I believe in the organization. I believe in all the guys in that locker room, regardless of what the record says. I believe we’re going to be contenders in the future and I want to be a part of it. I want to see it turn around.”

Murphy, who currently has 31 catches for 380 yards and a pair of scores, reflected on his tumultuous tenure with the Raiders, Panthers and Giants:

“My dad always told me growing up when preparation and opportunity meets, it equals success. So this year, I wrote it on my bathroom wall. Early on in the game, you can drop a ball and say, ‘Oh, I’ll get another chance at this.’ But with the road that I’ve taken and the road I’ve had to go through, I said, ‘No, I’m not going to let anything slip through the cracks.’ And that’s the mind-set I’m going to keep from here on out.”

Let’s take a look at some more notes out of the NFC…

  •’s David Newton is skeptical about the return of two key Panthers (on Twitter): running back DeAngelo Williams and defensive end Greg Hardy.
  • Saints wideout Marques Colston isn’t thinking about next season. When asked by Nick Underhill of The New Orleans Advocate whether he’s consider returning for less money, the receiver responded that he’d cross that bridge when he comes to it (Twitter link).
  • The Saints will enter the offseason over the salary cap, but veteran guard Jahri Evans isn’t worried about his team’s predicament. “(The front office) will figure a way to figure it out. That’s what those guys get paid to do,” he told Evan Woodbery of“I don’t see myself going anywhere.”
  • The Giants have yet to reach out to defensive end Jason Pierre-Paul regarding an extension, tweets ESPN’s Josina Anderson. The lack of communication is not a concern, however, and Anderson notes that the team will start the process following the season.
  • If one head coach could help turn around the play of Jay CutlerProFootballTalk’s Mike Florio believes it would be the man who drafted him: Mike Shanahan. Of course, that would depend on the Bears keeping the embattled quarterback and not shipping him off to another franchise.
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