Panthers Rumors

Panthers, Daryl Williams Far Apart In Talks

There’s a “monster gap” between the Panthers and Daryl Williams in contract negotiations, a source tells Jourdan Rodrigue of the Charlotte Observer. The source added that it would be “shocking” if a deal came together between now and the start of training camp in July.

Williams, a fourth-round pick in 2015, is eligible for free agency after the season. Last year, he started in all 16 games for the Panthers and played on every offensive snap. He graded out as Pro Football Focus’ highest-rated right tackle in the league, good for third amongst all tackles in the NFL. Only David Bakhtiari (Packers) and Joe Staley (49ers) performed better than him, per the advanced metrics. Head coach Ron Rivera has praised Williams’ development over the years and recognizes his importance to the team.

When he first got here, it was understanding how to practice. Then as he became a starter it was continuing to practice hard. Now it’s the consistency of how hard he practices,” Rivera said. “He’s a smart player, understands the game, has good technique. But it’s about coming to work every day and being consistent with that effort, (and) he’s done a great job with that.”

In theory, the Panthers could use 2017 second-rounder Taylor Moton at right tackle down the line, but right now the plan for him is to also see time at left guard to help replace Andrew Norwell. But, unless Moton takes a major step forward, the Panthers will want to avoid losing another key cog on the offensive line next spring.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Panthers Won't Retain Don Gregory

  • The Panthers will not renew the contract of senior executive scout Don Gregory, reports Joe Person (via Twitter). Gregory had previously served as the organization’s college scouting director for more than a decade, but he served in more of a consulting role between Marty Hurney‘s two stints with the team.


Panthers Sign First-Round WR D.J. Moore

The Panthers have signed rookie D.J. Moore, according to an announcement from the team. With the wide receiver under contract, the Panthers have now wrapped up their entire draft class. 

Early on in draft season, many believed that Alabama’s Calvin Ridley would be the first receiver to come off of the board. However, with strong performances in workouts, Moore leapfrogged him on many draft boards. Moore won out as he was selected 24th overall by the Panthers while Ridley went No. 26 overall to the Falcons.

The Maryland standout earned Big Ten Receiver of the Year honors last year after setting a single-season school record for receptions with 80. Despite playing with four different quarterbacks, Moore posted 1,033 receiving yards and eight touchdowns, becoming just the third wide receiver in school history to post a 1,000-yard receiving season.

Moore will now be tasked with a significant role in the Panthers’ offense as he catches passes from Cam Newton. Moore projects to be the one of the team’s top wide receivers, along with Devin Funchess and fellow Maryland alum Torrey Smith.

Per the terms of his slot, Moore will earn roughly $11.2MM over the course of his four-year deal. The pact will include a $6.2MM signing bonus.

Here’s the complete rundown of Carolina’s draft class:

Carolina Panthers

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

This Date In Transactions History: Jake Delhomme

Much like the way the Colts were able to land Andrew Luck thanks to one disastrous season without their previous franchise quarterback available, the Panthers used 2010 to bottom out and be in position to draft Cam Newton.

Like the 2011 Colts, the Panthers only endured one woeful season without a clear quarterback plan. However, the long-term signal-caller solution prior to Newton produced some memorable moments. And the years-long partnership came together on this date 14 years ago. The Panthers agreed to a five-year extension with Jake Delhomme on June 17, 2004, locking him in as their quarterback of the 2000s.

Illustrating where the quarterback market has gone in the past several years, Delhomme’s deal was worth only $38MM. But Carolina initially signed Delhomme, previously a Saints backup behind Aaron Brooks, for $4MM over two years in 2003. That fall signaled the beginning of a nice run for the Panthers. Delhomme started 15 games to help lift Carolina to its first Super Bowl, after the Panthers notched upset victories in St. Louis and Philadelphia. Delhomme’s explosive second half in Super Bowl XXXVIII (in a game where he threw for 323 yards and three touchdowns) had the Panthers poised for overtime, only an illegal procedure penalty gave the Patriots prime field position for a game-winning drive that ended Carolina’s championship bid.

Nevertheless, the Panthers saw enough from Delhomme to extend him the following summer, and he delivered the best statistical seasons of his career on this contract. Delhomme threw a career-high 29 touchdown passes in 2004 and followed that up with a 24-TD-pass 2005 — his only Pro Bowl campaign — for a Panthers team that stormed to the NFC title game.

Carolina’s return to the playoffs, in 2008, brought the beginning of the end for the Delhomme’s run with the franchise.

Delhomme was unable to shake the five-interception performance in a divisional-round loss to the Cardinals, but he nevertheless played out that extension — and signed another (for five years and $42.5MM) shortly after the seminal 2009 loss to the Cards — starting 11 games in the ’09 campaign. Carolina, though, cut Delhomme in March 2010 and pivoted to Matt Moore and second-round rookie Jimmy Clausen for that 2010 slate. The Panthers went 2-14 that season, securing the No. 1 pick and a path for a new regime to draft Newton.

Perhaps the Panthers retaining Delhomme for one more season would not have afforded them No. 1 overall real estate and thus shaken up a loaded 2011 draft, one that saw the Broncos, Bills, Bengals, Cardinals and Falcons select standout performers at the Nos. 2-6 spots. However, the QBs selected in the first round after Newton (Jake Locker, Blaine Gabbert and Christian Ponder) did not prove to be remotely in Newton’s class, making that No. 1 slot extraordinarily valuable.

Newton eclipsed Delhomme’s franchise record for most quarterback starts (90) in 2016; he’s at 108 entering this season.

Latest on D.J. Moore, Daryl Williams

  • Wide receiver D.J. Moore, the 24th overall pick by the Panthers, still hasn’t signed. He’s likely holding out for all four years of his contract to be guaranteed, writes Joseph Person of the Charlotte Observer. Person thinks Moore is waiting to see what Isaiah Wynn, taken one pick before Moore, gets from the Patriots before signing his deal.

Minor NFL Transactions: 6/4/18

Today’s minor moves:

Atlanta Falcons

Carolina Panthers

  • Signed: G Norman Price

Detroit Lions

  • Signed: TE Wes Saxton
  • Waived: DB Raysean Pringle

New York Giants

Pittsburgh Steelers

San Francisco 49ers

The Washington Post On David Tepper

David Tepper may have been a minority owner of the Steelers before purchasing the Panthers for a league-record $2.275 billion, but he does not exactly fit the mold of your prototypical NFL owner. In a fascinating piece on the self-made billionaire, Kent Babb of the Washington Post describes how the enigmatic, unpolished Tepper could clash with the majority of the league’s straightlaced owners, and he wonders whether the league will ultimately change Tepper, or if Tepper might change the league. One way or another, Babb’s piece is worth a read.

NFL Owners "Dreamt" Panthers Would Sell For $3 Billion

  • Some NFL owners “dreamt” that the Panthers would sell for $3 billion, according to Albert Breer of Sports Illustrated (Twitter link). Instead, the Panthers sold to Dave Tepper for $2.275 billion. Breer notes that if the Broncos, who have faced recent controversy surrounding their ownership, were to go up for sale it wouldn’t be “unrealistic” for them to get $3 billion. The value of NFL franchises continues to skyrocket, and the fact that some owners thought the Panthers might get $3 billion shows there’s no sign of the increase slowing down.

Derek Anderson Bids Farewell To Panthers

It appears the Panthers and quarterback Derek Anderson are going their separate ways. On Wednesday, Anderson wished farewell to the Panthers organization and its fans. 

I appreciated my time with the Panthers more than any of you know,” Anderson tweeted. “Charlotte is where our family started and grew to 5! So much love! I came to you guys when I needed you more than you needed me. Nothing but love for all my teammates and coaches that made me a better person! Can’t forget all of the great Panther fans as well and the many great memories our family will carry with us forever.”

It’s not immediately clear whether Anderson, who turns 35 in a couple of weeks, will look to continue his career. We haven’t heard Anderson’s name much in recent months, except for when Panthers GM Marty Hurney left the door open to his return in April. However, recent comments from head coach Ron Rivera suggested the Panthers would not be adding another player to the backup QB competition.

Anderson has 76 career NFL appearances under his belt, but he has not seen consistent action since his 2010 campaign with the Cardinals. He is best known for leading the 2007 Browns to a 10-5 record in 15 starts and serving as Cam Newton‘s backup for the last seven years.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.