Carolina Panthers Rumors & News

Chiefs Place K Cairo Santos On IR

The Chiefs announced that they have placed kicker Cairo Santos on IR. To take his place, the team has signed kicker Harrison Butker off of the Panthers’ practice squad. Cairo Santos (vertical)

The reason for Santos’ placement on IR is not immediately clear. He struggled with a groin pull in the summer, so it’s possible that he reaggravated that injury.

The ball gets heavier (when it rains) and I just felt sore,” Santos said in early September (via Terez A. Paylor of the Kansas City Star). “The next time I kicked, it just got worse and worse until I felt a pop on one of practice kicks. That’s when I knew something was wrong with it.”

Santos, 26 in November, was perfect through three games. He nailed all three of his field goal tries and made 100% of his extra point attempts.

Earlier this year, the Panthers were receiving calls of trade interest in kicker Graham Gano, leading to speculation that they could move him for a draft pick and stick with Butker. That wasn’t the case as the Panthers cut Butker on Sept. 13, though they did re-sign him to the taxi squad. He’ll now get his opportunity to shine in KC.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

NFL Waiver Priority Now Based On 2017 Record

We’re coming up on Week 4 of the NFL season and that means that waiver claim priority will be based on the current league standings instead of last year’s. Of course, waiver priority is based on the inverted NFL standings, which have built in tiebreakers to sort out the many logjams that naturally occur.

Throughout the offseason and the first three weeks of the regular season, the Browns enjoyed top priority thanks to their 1-15 finish last year. Now, we have a brand new pecking order. Here is a full rundown of the current waiver claim priority, which will change from week to week (Twitter links via Field Yates of ESPN.com):

T-1. Bengals

T-1. Browns

T-1. 49ers

4. Giants

5. Chargers

6. Colts

T-7. Texans

T-7. Seahawks

9. Cardinals

10. Jets

11. Saints

12. Bears

13. Dolphins

14. Buccaneers

15. Ravens

T-16. Panthers

T-16. Cowboys

T-16. Rams

T-16. Steelers

T-20. Broncos

T-20. Lions

T-20. Packers

23. Vikings

T-24. Bills

T-24. Jaguars

T-24. Patriots

T-24. Raiders

T-24. Eagles

T-24. Titans

30. Redskins

31. Chiefs

32. Falcons

 

NFC Notes: Panthers, Benjamin, Vikings

Panthers wide receiver Kelvin Benjamin gave fans a scare on Sunday when he re-injured his surgically repaired left knee. Fortunately, the early word on the ailment is positive and it appears he did not suffer a major injury, Ian Rapoport of NFL.com (on Twitter) hears. One source added that he is “fine.”

It sounds like Benjamin, who missed the 2015 season with a torn ACL, will not be out of action for long, if at all. That’s good news for Carolina, particularly since the injury bug already has them without center Ryan Kalil and tight end Greg Olsen.

Here’s more from the NFC:

  • The Vikings still don’t know whether they’ll have Sam Bradford in action on Sunday when they face Detroit, Chris Tomasson of the Pioneer Press writes. “It’s day to day, and we’ll go from there,’’ coach Mike Zimmer said. The good news for the Vikings is that Case Keenum looked great against Tampa Bay this weekend, completing 25 of 33 passes for a career-high 369 yards and three touchdowns. He could get the call again in Week 4 if Bradford’s knee is not in good shape.
  • Should the Seahawks trade for offensive line help? That’s what one reader asked Brady Henderson of ESPN.com, but the beat writer says that’s harder than it sounds. First of all, the NFL has an overall shortage of quality offensive linemen, meaning that the Seahawks are far from the only team with needs up front. Yes, the Seahawks have made two trades for offensive linemen in the past five weeks, but Matt Tobin and Isaiah Battle are both backup types. To acquire a starter, they’d have to part with much more than a fifth or seventh round pick. The Seahawks’ best chance to boost the offensive line was in March or April. Now, the 1-2 Seahawks pretty much have to get by with what they have.

NFL Workout Updates: 9/19/17

Today’s workout updates:

Carolina Panthers

Chicago Bears

Dallas Cowboys

Green Bay Packers

Jacksonville Jaguars

Kansas City Chiefs

Miami Dolphins

New York Jets

San Francisco 49ers

Tampa Bay Buccaneers

NFL Practice Squad Updates: 9/19/17

Today’s practice squad updates:

Atlanta Falcons

Carolina Panthers

Chicago Bears

Cleveland Browns

Dallas Cowboys

  • Signed: S Jameill Showers
  • Released: G Nate Theaker

Indianapolis Colts

  • Signed: WR Cyril Grayson Jr.
  • Released: WR Fred Brown

Jacksonville Jaguars

Kansas City Chiefs

Los Angeles Chargers

New England Patriots

New Orleans Saints

New York Jets

Seattle Seahawks

Tampa Bay Buccaneers

Panthers Not Interested In TE Gary Barnidge

Although they’ll be without tight end Greg Olsen for at least eight weeks, the Panthers are not interested in free agent Gary Barnidge, according to Joe Person of the Charlotte Observer (Twitter link).Gary Barnidge (vertical)

Barnidge is no stranger to Carolina, as he spent the first four seasons of his career as a backup tight end with the Panthers. Set to turn 32 years old this week, Barnidge had been linked to Carolina earlier this offseason after being released by the Browns, but it’s not clear if any meeting was ever actually arranged.

Other clubs — including the Jaguars, Bills, and Broncos — have also been tied to Barnidge this year, but he has yet to land a contract. The Texans, who recently lost three tight ends to concussions, worked out Barnidge a week ago but didn’t offer him a deal. Bardnidge’s lack of a pact is a surprise given that he averaged 67 receptions, 828 yards, and six touchdowns over the past two seasons and graded as the league’s No. 1 pass-blocking tight end in 2016, per Pro Football Focus.

Without Olsen in tow, the Panthers will turn to veteran Ed Dickson — who’s angling to be used in an Olsen-esque manner — as their starting tight end. Chris Manhertz is the only other tight end on the roster, but Carolina promoted fullback Alex Armah (who played some tight end in college) to the active roster today.

Instead of Barnidge, the Panthers auditioned fellow tight ends Jace Amaro, Gavin Escobar, and Kellen Davis today, tweets Field Yates of ESPN.com. Amaro and Escobar are both failed former second-round picks, while Davis isn’t much of a receiver — he’s managed only three receptions over the past three seasons. Still, with Dickson set to take over the starting tight end role, Carolina is likely looking for an addition who excels at blocking.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Panthers Place TE Greg Olsen On IR

It’s official – the Panthers have placed tight end Greg Olsen on injured reserve. This was viewed as the most likely scenario after Olsen broke his foot over the weekend. Greg Olsen (vertical)

The only thing that he has to do now is heal,” trainer Ryan Vermillion said in a statement released by the team. “I know Greg will be around and he’ll be involved. He’s a team guy. He’ll try to do everything he can to help this team continue to win.”

Of course, the NFL’s modified IR rules will allow for Olsen to return later this year. Teams are permitted to bring two players back from IR each season, provided that the player misses eight weeks of games. If Olsen recovers quickly, he could be ready to resume football activities in six weeks, so he’ll have time to get ready before a potential return in November.

The Panthers will miss Olsen, particularly after they managed only nine points in their Week 2 win over the Bills. Through two games, the Panthers have averaged 174.5 yards through the air, putting them in the bottom third of the league.

Last year, Olsen had 80 catches for 1,072 yards and three touchdowns. It was his third consecutive season with 1,000 yards or more.

To take Olsen’s place, the Panthers will promote fullback Alex Armah from the practice squad.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

NFL Workout Updates: 9/18/17

Today’s workout update notes:

Buffalo Bills

Carolina Panthers

Cincinnati Bengals

Detroit Lions

Green Bay Packers

Houston Texans

Indianapolis Colts

Jacksonville Jaguars

New England Patriots

New Orleans Saints

Seattle Seahawks

Latest On Panthers TE Greg Olsen

The broken foot suffered by Panthers tight Greg Olsen will not be a season-ender, Ian Rapoport of NFL.com (on Twitter) hears. Instead, he could be out for as little as six games. Greg Olsen (vertical)

A stint on the injured reserve list is also possible, Rapoport hears. That would allow the Panthers to open up a roster spot while Olsen is sidelined, but it would also mean that he will have to miss a minimum of eight weeks.

As of this writing, Ed Dickson stands as the team’s top healthy tight end with Chris Manhertz as his only backup. Dickson did produce as a pass-catcher with the Ravens, but he is now several seasons removed from the 2011 campaign in which he had 54 grabs for 528 yards and five scores. Since then, he has not topped 25 receptions in any season and he has never managed more than 134 receiving yards as a member of the Panthers. It might behoove the Panthers to add another experience tight end with soft hands and that could be made possible by moving Olsen to IR.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.