Panthers Rumors

Minor NFL Transactions: 8/15/18

Today’s minor moves:

Arizona Cardinals

Buffalo Bills

  • Signed: FB Sam Rogers
  • Waived/Injured: FB Zach Olstad

Carolina Panthers

Dallas Cowboys

  • Signed: WR Dres Anderson
  • Released: DE Joby Saint Fleur

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Panthers CB Donte Jackson Impressing

  • Panthers rookie cornerback Donte Jackson has given head coach Ron Rivera a comfort level in the secondary he hasn’t had in two-to-three years, per Joe Person of the Charlotte Observer (Twitter link). Jackson, the 55th overall selection earlier this year, stands 5’11”, 175 pounds, so he was pegged as a slot-only corner as he entered the NFL. However, Carolina has been adamant that Jackson will get an opportunity on the outside, and it’s possible the LSU product will start in Week 1. In fact, after fellow corner Ross Cockrell suffered a season-ending injury, Jackson may be the favorite to play alongside James Bradberry.

Minor NFL Transactions: 8/12/18

Today’s minor moves:

Carolina Panthers

Denver Broncos

  • Waived: OL Leon Johnson

Houston Texans

Los Angeles Rams

Tampa Bay Buccaneers

New Orleans Saints

  • Waived:G Trevor Darling

Seattle Seahawks

Tennessee Titans

Panthers To Place Daryl Williams On IR

The Panthers will place right tackle Daryl Williams on injured reserve, Ian Rapoport of NFL.com (on Twitter) hears. The hope is that Williams will be able to heal up in time to return for the second half of the season. 

[RELATED: Panthers, Tyler Larsen Agree To Extension]

Williams dislocated his right kneecap and tore the MCL in the same knee in late July. The tackle opted for rehab over surgery, but that path means that he’ll still need a fair amount of time to heal.

It’s a tough blow for a Panthers offense that will likely also be without guard Amini Silatolu to start the year. The Panthers will likely use Brandan Mahon or Tyler Larsen to fill in for Silatolu while 2017 second-round pick Taylor Moton figures to start in place of Williams.

Williams, a fourth round pick in 2015, will be a free agent after the season, so he has extra motivation to get back out on the field. The Panthers, meanwhile, will have to hope for the best while they’re without one of the game’s better tackles. Last year, Williams graded out as the 15th best overall tackle in the NFL, per Pro Football Focus.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Panthers, Tyler Larsen Agree To Extension

Center/guard Tyler Larsen has agreed to a two-year, $4.4MM extension with the Panthers, Jordan Rodrigue of the Charlotte Observer tweets. The deal, expected to be signed on Wednesday afternoon, includes $1.4MM guaranteed. 

Larsen, 27, is an important depth piece for the Panthers, particularly in the wake of Amini Silatolu‘s torn meniscus. Undrafted rookie Brendan Mahon may start at left guard in Silatolu’s absence, but Larsen is in line for increased reps no matter what due to his ability to play guard or fill in for Ryan Kalil at center. Kalil, meanwhile, says the 2018 season will be his last, so Larsen could be a low-cost option to start in 2019.

Larsen, a Utah State product, has appeared in 23 games for the Panthers over the last two years. He did an admirable job of filling in for Kalil last year and graded out as Pro Football Focus’ No. 17 ranked center in the NFL.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Amini Silatolu To Undergo Meniscus Surgery

Panthers left guard Amini Silatolu has a torn meniscus that will require surgery, the club announced Tuesday. Silatolu will undergo a procedure on Friday and will subsequently be evaluated on a “week-to-week basis.” Although Carolina didn’t announce a recovery timeline for Silatolu, Joseph Person of the Charlotte Observer indicates a four-to-six week rehabilitation period is typical for meniscus tears.

The Panthers could ill afford another blow to their offensive line, which already saw starting right tackle Daryl Williams go down with a dislocated knee and a torn MCL. Per Wilson, Williams is planning to attempt a 2018 return without undergoing surgery. Either way, Carolina’s offensive line — which ranked as a bottom-half unit in both run- and pass-blocking in 2017 before losing All-Pro left guard Andrew Norwell, per Football Outsiders — doesn’t have the depth to withstand multiple absences.

Silatolu had been competing to replace Norwell as a starting interior lineman, and had reportedly been seeing the most reps at the position. Now, undrafted rookie Brendan Mahon is the likely starter at left guard, according to Bill Voth of Panthers.com. Jeremiah Sirles and Greg Van Roten might also be candidates for increased reps, but Person reports Sirles is slotted in as a pure backup, while Van Roten has spent most of his time at center.

The 29-year-old Silatolu started three games and made 14 total appearnces for the Panthers in 2017, a season which marked his return season in Carolina. Originally a Panthers second-round pick and 15-game starter in 2012, Silatolu spent the 2016 campaign out of the NFL. He re-upped with Carolina this offseason on a one-year, minimum salary benefit contract.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Minor NFL Transactions: 8/7/18

Today’s minor moves:

Carolina Panthers

Green Bay Packers

Kansas City Chiefs

  • Claimed off waivers: G Ethan Cooper
  • Waived with left squad designation: C Jack Allen

Tampa Bay Buccaneers

Tennessee Titans

Washington Redskins

Thomas Davis Reiterates That He Wants To Play In 2019

Earlier this offseason, Panthers linebacker Thomas Davis made it sound like 2018 was going to be his final season in the NFL. However, the veteran acknowledged last month that he was open to continuing his playing career in 2019. Today, the 35-year-old echoed that sentiment, telling Panthers.com that his impending four-game suspension played a role in him changing his mind.

[SOURCE LINK]

Julius Peppers Comes Off PUP List

Panthers defensive end Julius Peppers has passed his physical and has been removed from the PUP list, as David Newton of ESPN.com reports. The team has a practice at 3:15 this afternoon, and Peppers will participate.

Peppers reunited with the Panthers last offseason after a four-year run with the Bears and a three-year stint with the Packers. The former No. 2 overall pick turned back the clock, as he posted 11 sacks for Carolina in 2017, his highest total since the 2012 campaign. His efforts made him the best pass rusher on this year’s free agent market in our eyes, despite the fact that he is now 38 years old.

Sack totals are not necessarily indicative of overall performance, but Pro Football Focus graded Peppers as a league-average defensive end last year, ranking him 63rd among 110 qualifying edge defenders. He played 50% of Carolina’s defensive snaps in 2017, and he’ll likely continue in a rotational role during the upcoming season.

The surefire Hall-of-Famer will earn $5MM in 2018, which represents a nice raise from the $3.5MM he made last year. He has accumulated a whopping 154.5 sacks in his career, the fourth-most in league history, and he could pass Kevin Greene‘s 160 mark this season. He also has nine Pro Bowls and three first-team All-Pro selections to his credit, but he is still chasing that elusive Super Bowl ring. He is hoping to achieve that last milestone with the team that drafted him over 16 years ago.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Minor NFL Transactions: 8/1/18

Today’s minor moves:

Carolina Panthers

Detroit Lions

Jacksonville Jaguars

Kansas City Chiefs

New Orleans Saints

New York Giants

Tennessee Titans