For years, the NFC South remained surprisingly consistent. The division winner changed nearly every year, with some strong competition and also the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. Looking into 2020, the entire division looks to be in flux. Expect lots of new head coaches even more new quarterbacks.
Let’s take a look at each team.
This goes without saying, but Dan Quinn is a dead man walking. He seems to have survived a mid-season firing, but he is guaranteed to be gone within hours of the Week 17 game. Quinn will close out as the team’s second head coach since 2008, marking some pretty drastic change. For reference, the Buccaneers have had an estimated 45 head coaches in that timeframe.
We expect lots of change in Carolina this offseason. Cam Newton is expected to get cut after another injury-marred season finished on injured reserve. He’s been the team’s quarterback since 2011, and even earned MVP before injuries and an atrocious offensive ultimately took him down.
More than just Newton, new owner David Tepper is expected to clean house and give his team a solid refresh. That means the end of head coach Ron Rivera and general manager Marty Hurney. Tepper may be more aggressive than prior ownership in his head coach search, with Rivera’s replacement almost certain to add a young, franchise quarterback early in the draft. The Panthers will look like a brand new team.
Is this the year Drew Brees finally retires? He turns 41 in the offseason, and the team needs to either move on or pay backup Teddy Bridgewater. Sean Payton is staying, short of a surprise retirement, but the offense will almost certainly look drastically different without Brees. The Saints signed him way back in 2006, so whether we see Bridgewater or another quarterback, New Orleans will look much different without number 9.
Tampa Bay Buccaneers
Similar to New Orleans and Carolina, Tampa’s quarterback is not expected to return. Jameis Winston has an estimated 143 interceptions and 78 fumbles this season. The former first-overall selection failed to improve much in the pros, alternating between an elite thrower and an elite interception thrower. Bruce Arians was unable to fix Winston, and likely does not want to risk his coaching career on a mistake-prone quarterback another coach picked.