Cameron Erving

Cam Erving To Compete For Panthers’ LT Job

When the Panthers signed OL Cameron Erving in free agency, Erving’s ability to line up at any position on the O-line was cited as one of his best assets. At the time of the signing, Joseph Person of The Athletic suggested that Erving would have a chance to compete for Carolina’s starting LT job, and now that the team’s summer roster is mostly set, Person confirms that Erving is very much in the mix to be Sam Darnold‘s blindside protector.

As Panthers fans know all too well, the team’s left tackle post has been a revolving door for nearly a decade. Whoever wins the job will be Carolina’s ninth LT in as many years, and at first blush, Erving doesn’t look like the long-term solution the Panthers have been seeking. The Browns drafted the Florida State product in the first round of the 2015 draft, but the fact that the Browns flipped him to the Chiefs for a fifth-round pick before his third pro season tells you all you need to know about his tenure in Cleveland.

He ultimately played three seasons in Kansas City, starting 25 games over that span and lining up at left tackle and both guard positions. His play was not good enough to convince the Chiefs to pick up his 2020 option, and he hooked on with the Cowboys last May. Due to multiple knee injuries, he played in just six games (five starts) for Dallas.

As Person notes, Erving missed most of the Panthers’ OTAs and minicamp due to an unspecified injury, though he is expected to be ready to go for the start of training camp. Trenton Scott, who played four games at LT for the Panthers last season, remains in the mix for the starting job in 2021, but he is dealing with an undisclosed injury of his own.

2019 draftees Greg Little and Dennis Daley are also in the running, but Person does not mention third-round rookie Brady Christensen as an LT candidate. Carolina brass was very high on Christensen and targeted him with the No. 60 overall selection before the team got word of the Saints’ interest in WR Terrace Marshall Jr. The Panthers nabbed Marshall at No. 60 and ultimately traded up to land Christensen with the No. 70 overall pick.

However, Scouts Inc. actually had a seventh-round grade on Christensen, and his stature and lack of lateral quickness might make him a better fit at guard at the professional level. At least initially, it seems that the Panthers plan to deploy him on the interior.

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NFL Contract Details: Bolts, Griffin, Broncos

With the tampering period in full swing, here are some of the latest contract details to emerge:

  • Chargers C Corey Linsley: Five years, $62.5MM. $26MM guaranteed, $13MM signing bonus. Linsley is due $26MM through 2022, Albert Breer of SI.com tweets. Linsley’s 2021 base salary ($4MM) is fully guaranteed. His 2022 base salary ($9MM) is guaranteed for injury at signing; it becomes fully guaranteed if he is on the Bolts’ roster on Day 2 of the 2022 league year, Aaron Wilson of the Houston Chronicle tweets.
  • Jaguars CB Shaquill Griffin: Three years, $40MM. $23.5MM fully guaranteed, Albert Breer of SI.com tweets. $12MM signing bonus, base salaries of $1MM, $11.5MM and $11.5MM. Griffin is due a $1MM roster bonus in 2023, Field Yates of ESPN.com tweets.
  • Lions DE Romeo Okwara: Three years, $39MM. $14MM signing bonus, $20MM fully guaranteed. Another $5MM will be guaranteed by next March, per NFL.com’s Tom Pelissero (on Twitter).
  • Broncos DL Shelby Harris: Three years, $27MM. $9MM signing bonus. Harris’ $1MM 2021 base salary and $5.5MM of his $7.5MM 2022 base are guaranteed, Wilson tweets.
  • Patriots DB Jalen Mills: Four years, $24MM. $2.5MM signing bonus, $3MM base salary in 2021, $4.5MM in ’22. Williams will have $3.5MM of his 2022 base salary fully guaranteed, Breer tweets.
  • Panthers OL Cameron Erving: Two years, $10MM. This contract includes base salaries of $990K and $2.01MM, with Wilson tweeting a March 2022 roster bonus of $2.5MM is guaranteed.
  • 49ers CB Jason Verrett: One year, $5.5MM. $2MM signing bonus, $2.5MM base salary, $1MM in per-game roster bonuses. Another $1MM is available via incentives, Yates tweets.

Panthers To Sign OL Cameron Erving

We’ve heard a lot this offseason about the Panthers’ bold plans to upgrade at quarterback, but so far in free agency they’ve been focused on the offensive line. They already signed Pat Elflein not even an hour ago, and now they’ve added another guy up front.

Carolina has agreed to sign Cameron Erving to a two-year deal worth $10MM with $8MM of that being guaranteed, a source told beat writer Joe Person (Twitter link). Jeremy Fowler of ESPN.com was first to tweet the two sides were close. Person thinks Erving will compete for the starting job at left tackle, but as he notes he’s flexible and can play along the interior as well.

The immediate reaction from Cowboys writers was that Dallas was never going to pay nearly that much. Erving started five games at tackle for the Cowboys last year due to injuries, but with Tyron Smith and La’el Collins returning, wasn’t really needed. Erving was drafted 19th overall by the Browns in 2015, and immediately flamed out in Cleveland.

Traded for a late-round pick to the Chiefs after just two years and labeled a bust, he rehabilitated his reputation a bit in Kansas City and started 25 games across his three years there. Erving hasn’t exactly always been lights out, but he has extensive NFL experience at guard, center, and tackle, which will always have value.

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Minor NFL Transactions: 12/11/20

Here are Friday’s minor moves:

Carolina Panthers

Dallas Cowboys

Denver Broncos

New York Giants

New York Jets

Pittsburgh Steelers

Tennessee Titans

Cowboys’ Zack Martin, Cam Erving To Miss Time

More bad news for the 3-8 Cowboys. On Friday, head coach Mike McCarthy announced that offensive linemen Zack Martin (calf) and Cam Erving (knee) will miss multiple weeks. 

Both players were injured during the Cowboys’ blowout loss to the Washington Football Team on Thursday. Martin has been playing through the calf injury for weeks and aggravated it while on the field. Erving, meanwhile, was forced out on the Cowboys’ first drive of the game.

Even in the woeful NFC East, the Cowboys aren’t likely to see the playoffs this year. Even if the linemen can return before the year is through, the Cowboys might keep them off the field as a precaution. Terence Steele took over for Martin while Brandon Knight subbed in for Erving — they’ll likely be first-string for the time being.

On paper, the Cowboys were set to return one of the league’s very best offensive lines. Unfortunately, injuries to left tackle Tyron Smith, right tackle La’el Collins, and center Tyler Biadasz have decimated the unit. Biadasz may come off of IR in a few weeks but, similar to Martin and Erving, the Cowboys will have to weigh the risk vs. the limited reward.

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Minor NFL Transactions: 10/24/20

Here is another spree of Saturday minor moves:

Arizona Cardinals

Atlanta Falcons

Buffalo Bills

Carolina Panthers

Chicago Bears

  • Moved from IR to reserve/COVID-19 list: CB Michael Joseph

Cincinnati Bengals

Dallas Cowboys

Green Bay Packers

Jacksonville Jaguars

Kansas City Chiefs

Las Vegas Raiders

  • Promoted: CB Dylan Mabin

New England Patriots

New Orleans Saints

New York Jets

  • Activated from IR: OL Cameron Clark
  • Promoted: K/P Sergio Castillo, LB Bryce Hager

Pittsburgh Steelers

San Francisco 49ers

Seattle Seahawks

Tennessee Titans

Washington Football Team

Cowboys Notes: Coaches, Knight, Martin

After getting blown out by the Cardinals last night and falling to 2-4, it sounds like some of the players are starting to point fingers at the coaching staff. Jane Slater of NFL Network tweets that “discontent is leaking out” of the Cowboys locker room, with one player stating that the coaches “just aren’t good at their jobs”

“Totally unprepared,” another player said of the coaching staff. “They don’t teach. They don’t have any sense of adjusting on the fly.”

Meanwhile, head coach Mike McCarthy indicated to reporters that instead of leaking these qualms to the media, he’d rather keep those types of conversations in house.

“I just really go back to my first meeting with the football team. I’ve always stated that…it’s important to handle things as men,” McCarthy said (via Charean Williams of ProFootballTalk.com). “I mean, if you do have something to say publicly that is of most important, I think it’s important to say it to the individual, or particularly in a group dynamic setting, especially in the game of football, especially for the Dallas Cowboys. I mean, that’s all part of the development our program, of the system that we’ve got going here. I think that’s just part of our flight right now. We don’t like the way we played last night. We had some areas that we struggled strong in. It’s definitely not what we’re looking for.”

Some more notes out of Dallas:

  • McCarthy also told reporters that left tackle Brandon Knight suffered a knee injury and underwent surgery (via Michael Gehlken of the Dallas Morning News on Twitter). The lineman is expected to miss the next few games. Knight found himself with a starting gig following a season-ending injury to Tyron Smith, and he’s started four of the Cowboys’ six games. While a replacement hasn’t been named, Gehlken notes that Cameron Erving, who is sitting on IR, could be an option.
  • ESPN’s Todd Archer tweets that Zack Martin suffered a concussion and is questionable for Sunday. The team isn’t expected to receive any clarity on the veteran until the end of the week. Martin has only missed a pair of regular season games since entering the league as a first-round pick in 2014.
  • McCarthy doesn’t believe his team has improved much through the first six weeks of the season. “Have we improved?” McCarthy asked (via Gehlken on Twitter). “From an analytical standpoint, when I look at trend lines and some of the things that we’re focused on…. no, our trend line is not pointing in the right direction” Sorry, Cowboys fans.

Minor NFL Transactions: 9/15/20

Today’s minor moves:

Atlanta Falcons

Cincinnati Bengals

Dallas Cowboys

Houston Texans

Los Angeles Chargers

New York Giants

Philadelphia Eagles

Pittsburgh Steelers

Tennessee Titans

Cowboys To Sign Cameron Erving

The Cowboys have agreed to a one-year deal with Cameron Erving, according to a source who spoke with Michael Gehlken of the Dallas Morning News (Twitter link). The deal with the former Chiefs offensive lineman will be totally finalized with a passed physical. 

Erving saw his playing time dip towards the end of the 2019 season, but he did take the field for KC’s Super Bowl victory in February. He came to the Chiefs by way of a trade with the Browns in 2017. In 2018, he started in 13 of his 14 games for his new club. After the season, he inked a brand new two-year deal, though the Chiefs did not exercise his option for 2020.

Erving’s versatility should be a major plus for the Cowboys. With experience at tackle, guard, and center, Erving could theoretically backstop the offensive line at all five spots. He may also get a chance to compete for the starting center job. Currently, the Cowboys have Joe Looney, Connor McGovernand Connor Williams vying for the gig.

With that said, head coach Mike McCarthy said in April that he was comfortable with his in-house center options.

I think Travis [Frederick] is a player that’s had a great career,” McCarthy said. “But when we look at our current depth with the offensive line, you start off with Joe Looney and the two Connors. I think we’ve got great competition, great depth…I think the fact that we have that much experience with the veteran group that we have here, I feel very good about moving forward.”

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Chiefs To Decline Cameron Erving’s Option

Cameron Erving is set to hit free agency. Yahoo’s Terez A. Paylor reports (via Twitter) that the Chiefs won’t be exercising their 2020 option on the offensive lineman. The move will create $3.2MM in space for Kansas City.

The Chiefs traded a fifth-rounder to the Browns for Erving back in 2017, and the lineman proceeded to appear in 13 games (four starts) for his new squad. After starting 13 of his 14 appearances in 2018, Erving inked a two-year deal with the Chiefs.

The 27-year-old saw a reduced role towards the end of the 2019 season, but he still managed to make an appearance in the Chiefs’ Super Bowl victory.

Erving’s versatility proved to be useful during his tenure with the Chiefs, but the front office clearly valued the extra wiggle room over the rotational lineman. With less than $20MM in cap room, the team will use some of their newfound space to accommodate defensive tackle Chris Jonesfranchise tag.

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