Bryan Cox Jr.

South Notes: Texans, Titans, Lewan, Panthers

While it’s still unclear exactly how the Texans will configure their offensive line in 2019, the front five does appear to be rounding into form. At recent practices, Matt Kalil has been taking first-team reps at left tackle while rookie first-round pick Tytus Howard plays left guard, according to Aaron Wilson of the Houston Chronicle. Zach Fulton is filling in at center for the injured Nick Martin, but once Martin returns, Fulton will continue to battle second-rounder Max Scharping for time at right guard, and the veteran holds the edge in that battle, per Wilson. Seantrel Henderson, who hasn’t started more than one game in a season since 2015, is the top man at right tackle. Houston’s offensive line was one of the NFL’s worst in 2018, ranking 27th in adjusted line yards and dead last in adjusted sack rate, per Football Outsiders.

Here’s more from the NFL’s two South divisions:

  • After suffering a fractured and dislocated ankle last September, Titans tight end Delanie Walker is working his way back to full strength. Walker expects to be ready for Week 1 of the regular season, and in excellent news, he’s likely to play in Tennessee’s second preseason contest, tweets Jim Wyatt of TitansOnline.com. The 35-year-old posted at least 60 receptions and 800 yards in each season from 2014-17, and he’s likely to be a featured part of the Titans offense once again in 2019. Signed to a two-year, $17MM extension last summer, Walker is under contract through 2020.
  • Panthers defensive end Bryan Cox Jr. was cited on Wednesday for speeding, possession of marijuana, and possession of paraphernalia, reports Blaine Tolison of WSOC (Twitter link). In a statement, the Panthers said they are aware of the incident and are working to gather information (Twitter link via Jourdan Rodrigue of The Athletic). Cos has appeared in 18 games for Carolina over the past two years, playing roughly 200 snaps in each season. In his latest roster projection, David Newton of ESPN.com left Cox off the Panthers’ 53-man squad.
  • Titans offensive tackle Taylor Lewan will formally appeal his four-game suspension on August 22, per Paul Kuharsky of PaulKuharsky.com (Twitter link). Lewan was dealt a ban after violating the league’s performance-enhancing drug policy, but he’s been adamant in his claims that he didn’t purposefully ingest a banned substance, and even took a polygraph test. However, as recent failed appeals by Golden Tate and Robert Quinn have shown, the NFL’s drug policy is extremely unforgiving.

Minor NFL Transactions: 3/21/19

Today’s minor moves:

Arizona Cardinals

Atlanta Falcons

Carolina Panthers

Cincinnati Bengals

Detroit Lions

Miami Dolphins

Oakland Raiders

RFA/ERFA Tender Decisions: 3/6/19

Here are today’s restricted free agent and exclusive-rights free agent tender decisions:

RFAs

Tendered at original-round level:

ERFAs

Tendered:

Non-tendered:

Panthers Place LB Jeremy Cash On IR

The Panthers injury woes continue. The team has placed linebacker Jeremy Cash on the injured reserve, reports Jourdan Rodrigue of the Charlotte Observer (via Twitter). The team has promoted defensive end Bryan Cox Jr. from the practice squad to take Cash’s place on the roster.

Jeremy CashCash, a standout at Duke, surprisingly wasn’t selected during the 2016 draft. The former safety ultimately signed with the Panthers, and the team subsequently converted him to linebacker. He played in eight games during his rookie campaign, compiling six tackles (mostly on special teams). He appeared in his team’s season-opening win over the 49ers, but he hasn’t gotten into a game since. The Panthers could be seeking some more linebacker depth down the road, as they’re only rostering a trio of reserves in Ben Jacobs, David Mayo, and Jared Norris.

Cox signed with the Panthers as an undrafted free agent out of Florida following this past year’s draft. After being waived in early September, he caught on with the organization’s practice squad. The son of former Pro Bowler Bryan Cox, the rookie should provide the organization with some depth on the defensive line. Julius Peppers is currently dealing with an injured shoulder, and the team would have only been left with defensive ends Wes Horton and Daeshon Hall on the bench had he missed tomorrow’s game.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Sunday NFL Transactions: NFC South

Listed below are the Sunday roster moves for the four NFC South teams. Following the 53-man roster cutdown deadline yesterday, many teams will make slight tweaks to their rosters, claiming players off waivers or signing guys who clear waivers. Those transactions for the Falcons, Panthers, Saints, and Buccaneers are noted below.

Additionally, as of 12:00pm CT today, teams can begin constructing their 10-man practice squads. You can check out our glossary entry on practice squads to brush up on those changes, as well as all the other guidelines that govern the 10-man units, whose players practice with the team but aren’t eligible to suit up on Sundays.

Here are Sunday’s NFC South transactions, which will continue to be updated throughout the day:

Atlanta Falcons

Carolina Panthers

New Orleans Saints

Tampa Bay Buccaneers

Panthers Reduce Roster To 53

The Panthers trimmed their roster to 77 players yesterday, and it appears that they’ve reached the 53-man limit today (via Max Henson of Panthers.com):

Waived:

Released outright (vested veterans who are not subject to waivers):

Placed on IR:

Panthers Sign Christian McCaffrey

The Panthers are now the first club to reach a deal with a 2017 first-round pick, as the club announced it has signed running back Christian McCaffrey. Carolina has also inked second-round offensive lineman Taylor Moton and sixth-round fullback Alex Armah.Christian McCaffrey (Vertical)

McCaffrey, the eighth overall pick in last week’s draft, should immediately factor into a Panthers offense that ranked 25th in DVOA last season. A running back by trade, McCaffrey may end up playing a good deal of receiver, especially with established veteran Jonathan Stewart still lurking in the backfield. McCaffrey should be in line for a four-year deal worth roughly $17.241MM (signing bonus of ~$10.679MM). Carolina will also hold a fifth-year option on McCaffrey for the 2021 campaign.

Moton, meanwhile, should compete for the Panthers’ starting right tackle job. Third-year pro Daryl Williams looks to be Moton’s primary competition, as Michael Oher is still dealing with concussion issues (and was recently cited for misdemeanor assault). Moton, a Western Michigan product, will earn $6.454MM over the life of his four-year contract.

In addition to signing three of their seven draft picks, the Panthers announced they’ve also agreed to terms with the following undrafted college free agents: linebacker Ben Boulware, defensive end Bryan Cox Jr., wide receiver Austin Duke, cornerback Cole Luke, and wide receiver Fred Ross.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.