Denzel Perryman

Panthers To Sign LB Denzel Perryman

Having seen his Chargers role reduced in recent years, Denzel Perryman will receive a fresh start in the NFC. The veteran linebacker intends to sign with the Panthers, Jeremy Fowler of ESPN.com tweets.

The Panthers are adding the six-year veteran on a two-year deal, Fowler adds (via Twitter). After Carolina took a low-cost swing with Tahir Whitehead to succeed Luke Kuechly last year, the team will bring in Perryman at middle linebacker.

Although the Bolts re-signed Perryman two years ago, they transitioned away from him upon trading up for Kenneth Murray in last year’s first round. While Murray experienced acclimation issues in Los Angeles as a rookie, Perryman played just 31% of the team’s defensive snaps last season. He should be expected to have a bigger role in Charlotte.

Various injuries have also plagued Perryman during his career. Hamstring and knee trouble ended his 2018 and ’19 seasons, respectively. While the 28-year-old linebacker has encountered myriad issues in his career, Pro Football Focus viewed his most recent work sample favorably. He graded as one of the top off-ball linebackers last season — a 48-tackle slate across 13 games. Perryman showed promise earlier in his career as well and will attempt to stabilize it in Carolina alongside Shaq Thompson.

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Chargers LB Denzel Perryman To Test Market

Chargers linebacker Denzel Perryman will hit the open market. The 28-year-old has not ruled out a return to the Bolts, but he will first look to see what other clubs have to offer, as Ian Rapoport of NFL.com reports (Twitter link).

LA’s fortunes have been undermined by injuries in recent seasons, and Perryman has certainly dealt with his fair share of health problems. He appeared in only seven games in 2017, only nine the following year, and has never played in more than 14. Even in his injury-marred campaigns, though, he generally operated as a starter. But in 2020, he was utilized in more of a rotational role, starting a career-low six contests.

Despite that, 2020 may have been one of his best seasons. He scored a terrific 83.3 overall grade from Pro Football Focus — which would have been fifth-best in the entire league if he had met PFF’s snap minimum — and he demonstrated a marked improvement in his coverage abilities. Long lauded for his hard hitting and run-stuffing prowess, Perryman was more of a complete player last season, which certainly won’t hurt his value.

However, his injury history and the reduced salary cap are both working against him, and those factors could force him to accept a modest one-year pact, as many “middle class” free agents are expected to do in 2021. And with the Chargers also rostering younger players like Kenneth Murray, Drue Tranquill, and Kyzir White, Perryman may feel that a one-year deal on a club that will utilize him in a more prominent role will give him a better chance to make hay in 2022.

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Chargers LB Denzel Perryman Restructures Contract

The Chargers have been busy today. So far they’ve franchise-tagged Hunter Henry, released Brandon Mebane and Thomas Davis, and now they’ve also adjusted a contract. 

Los Angeles agreed to a restructure with linebacker Denzel Perryman that will keep him with the team for the 2020 season, a source told Ian Rapoport of NFL Network (Twitter link). Originally set to make a little over $6MM in the final year of his current deal, he’ll now need to hit some incentives to reach that figure, Rapoport reports. Perryman was due a $1.5MM roster bonus on the third day of the new league year, and there had been some speculation that the Chargers might move on.

The hard-hitting inside linebacker has been a big part of their defense the past handful of years when healthy, but he’s had some trouble staying on the field. He appeared in only seven games in 2017, only nine the following year, and has never played in more than 14. Linebacker has been a weak spot for the Chargers’ otherwise talented defense, and with the release of Davis it’s a position they’ll certainly be addressing further this offseason.

Perryman was drafted 48th overall out of Miami back in 2015. He also got in a bit of trouble with head coach Anthony Lynn last year, as he was sent home before the team’s game against Jacksonville after missing a team meeting.

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Extra Points: Schobert, Panthers, Chargers

Joe Schobert is having one of his best NFL seasons, but the Browns haven’t reached out about signing the impending free agent. The linebacker told reporters that he hasn’t received any offers from the organization (via Mary Kay Cabot of Cleveland.com on Twitter).

The former fourth-rounder earned a Pro Bowl nod back in 2017, and he’s followed that up with two additional 100-plus-tackle seasons. That includes the current 2019 campaign, as Schobert has compiled 110 tackles, two sacks, nine passes defended, four interceptions, and a pair of forced fumbles.

If the linebacker were to hit free agency, there would surely be teams lining up for his services. For what it’s worth, Schobert told reporters that in a “perfect world,” he’d be in a Cleveland uniform come 2020.

Let’s check out some more notes from around the NFL…

  • Kyle Allen has filled in admirably for Cam Newton, but it doesn’t sound like he has a solid hold on the Panthers starting gig for the rest of the season. Interim head coach Perry Fewell told reporters that the quarterback situation is a “day to day, week to week situation” (via The Athletic’s Jourdan Rodrigue on Twitter). Even if Allen doesn’t struggle, it makes sense for Carolina to see what they’ve got in rookie third-rounder Will Grier. The West Virginia product hasn’t seen the field this season, while Allen has tossed 16 touchdowns vs. 12 interceptions in his 11 games (11 starts).
  • Chargers head coach Anthony Lynn said it was a “coach’s decision” to send home linebacker Denzel Perryman and safety Roderic Teamer on Saturday, according to Jeff Miller of the LA Times (on Twitter). ESPN’s Eric Williams tweets that the pair missed a morning meeting in Jacksonville, all leading to Lynn’s decision. Perryman has started 11 games this season, while Teamer has appeared in seven games.
  • Cowboys safety Jeff Heath said he may need shoulder surgery to repair labrum damage (via Calvin Watkins of the Dallas News on Twitter). The 28-year-old continues to play through the injury, and Michael Gehlken of the Dallas Morning News tweets that there’s hope Heath can avoid the procedure until the offseason. The safety has started 10 games this season, compiling 45 tackles and five passes defended.

AFC Notes: Brown, Steelers, Chargers

It’s been more than a full day since the report that a deal was “close” to being done for Antonio Brown, but the Steelers haven’t moved yet. We still don’t have any word yet on where he’s heading, and it’s become clear that part of the holdup with trade negotiations is the fact that Brown wants a pricey new contract wherever he goes. After Odell Beckham Jr. signed his record-breaking deal last year, Brown “took note of the new money hitting the receiver market” and wanted to get in on it, writes Jeremy Fowler of ESPN.com.

While Brown has apparently been plotting on how to get a new contract for a while, Fowler does caution that the “notion that Brown sought a trade and publicly criticized his team solely over a new deal is misguided.” In his article, which is worth a full read, Fowler breaks down how Brown is “working the system” to get a huge new deal while he still has three years left on his current one with the Steelers.

Here’s more from around the AFC with the start of free agency right around the corner:

  • Speaking of Brown’s contract, we have more clarity on what exactly he’s seeking. Yesterday we heard he was looking to become the highest paid receiver in the NFL, and now we have more on his demands. Brown wants between $18 and $20MM per year on any new deal, Jason La Canfora of CBS Sports hears (Twitter link). That explains why things have been taking so long. Beckham got $18MM per year on his deal, and Brown will have a hard time getting more than that. Beckham was 25 when he signed his deal, and Brown is 30. If any team is going to pay him quarterback money, they’re not going to want to give the Steelers any compensation for the right to do it. If that’s really what Brown is holding out for, it might be a while before this is resolved.
  • Denzel Perryman and the Chargers agreed on a new two-year deal yesterday, and now we have the details. The inside linebacker will earn $12MM over the course of the two years, according to Ian Rapoport of NFL Network (Twitter link). Perryman, who was set to be an unrestricted free agent, has been a good run-stuffer for the Chargers when he’s been able to stay healthy. The 2015 second round pick out of Miami has missed 16 games over the past two years. If he can stay on the field next year, it’ll be a huge boost to Los Angeles’ talented defense.
  • In case you missed it, tight end Martellus Bennett could come out of retirement to join his brother with the Patriots.

Chargers, Denzel Perryman Agree To Deal

Despite Denzel Perryman‘s injury trouble over the past two seasons, the Chargers plan to give him another chance. They are re-signing the inside linebacker to a two-year contract, Ian Rapoport of NFL.com tweets.

A former second-round pick, Perryman has had stretches of quality play but has also been known for the time he’s missed. The Bolts’ top middle linebacker has been unavailable for 22 games during his career, 32 of which coming in the past two seasons.

But when he was healthy in 2018, Perryman was productive. Pro Football Focus graded the second-level defender as its No. 32 linebacker. The Chargers had to get creative at linebacker in the playoffs, using defensive backs in that role against the Ravens and Patriots. The strategy had mixed results, but the Bolts are hoping Perryman’s return can help stabilize the unit.

Following the New England defeat, Tom Telesco said he would make a point to address the team’s linebacker situation this offseason.

Perryman started 11 games during the 2016 season but underwent ankle surgery during the 2017 offseason before suffering a hamstring injury after returning late that season. Perryman’s 2018 campaign ended early because of an LCL injury. He will return to a promising Chargers team, albeit one that has experienced persistent injury trouble on both sides of the ball in recent years.

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Chargers Working To Re-Sign Denzel Perryman

The Chargers are working to retain linebacker Denzel Perryman before he hits free agency, sources tell NFL.com’s Ian Rapoport (Twitter link). Perryman has dealt with injuries in the past, but he has been a real difference-maker when healthy.

Last year, Perryman suffered LCL and hamstring injuries and had to be shut down in November. Before that, the 26-year-old tallied 51 total tackles and an interception across nine games. The inside linebacker didn’t log any sacks, but, at the time of his injury, he ranked as Pro Football Focus’ 23rd best linebacker on the strength of his pass rush pressure.

Perryman, a second-round pick in 2015, is no stranger to the injury bug. In 2017, Perryman started the year on IR and went right back after seven games. Still, the Chargers are hopeful that he can stay on the field and provide the team with continuity in the front seven.

If Perryman is re-signed, the Bolts will more or less have the band back together, though defensive tackle Corey Liuget could be out after the club declined his 2019 option.

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Chargers’ Denzel Perryman Done For Year

Chargers star linebacker Denzel Perryman suffered an injury to his LCL and probably needs hamstring surgery as well, Ian Rapoport of NFL.com (on Twitter) hears. The double whammy will land him on injured reserve, ending his season. 

The Chargers have been one of the league’s surprise successes this season and Perryman deserves serious credit for their 7-2 start. Through nine games, the 25-year-old (26 in December) tallied 51 total tackles and an interception. The inside linebacker doesn’t have any sacks, but he is ranked as Pro Football Focus’ 23rd best linebacker on the strength of his pass rush pressure.

Perryman, a second-round pick in 2015, is no stranger to injury. Last year, Perryman started the year on IR and went right back after seven games.

Without Perryman, the Chargers will likely turn to Korey Toomer or Nick Dzubnar in the middle. It also stands to reason that they’ll add a linebacker, especially since Kyzir White is on IR and Chris Landrum is healing up from a hip injury.

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West Notes: Mack, Perryman, Rams

We heard last week that the Raiders and star linebacker Khalil Mack are not close on an extension, and Mack has not yet reported to the team’s offseason workout program. GM Reggie McKenzie, though, remains confident that a new deal will get done, and there does not seem to be any reason to believe otherwise at this point. Scott Bair of NBCSports.com takes a crack at the value of Mack’s next contract, and he suggests that a six-year, $120MM pact (with around $65MM in guarantees) could be in play. He also says the team is unconcerned about Mack’s absence at this point, though the Raiders do want to get a deal in place before training camp.

Now let’s round up a few notes from west division clubs, starting with more out of Oakland:

  • Jared Cook has been mentioned as a potential cap casualty this offseason given that he is owed a $5MM salary and can be cut without any dead money remaining on the books. But Bair does not believe the Raiders will part ways with Cook, though that could change if the team selects a tight end in the early rounds of this month’s draft.
  • The Chargers‘ run defense was the weakest part of an otherwise strong unit in 2017, and with only Denzel Perryman locked in as a starter at linebacker for 2018, Dan Woike of the Los Angeles Times believes the Bolts could make a play for an LB early on in the draft. If the team does not trade up to select a talent like Tremaine Edmunds or Roquan Smith, Rashaan Evans and Leighton Vander Esch should be available when the Chargers are on the clock with the No. 17 overall pick. As Woike notes, the team also needs to decide what it wants to do with Perryman on a long-term basis, as the Miami product is entering the last year of his rookie deal.
  • In a separate piece, Woike suggests that the Chargers could look to bolster their run defense by selecting a defensive lineman in the early rounds of the draft, with Vita Vea and Da’Ron Payne being tied to the team in various mocks. Los Angeles has stayed out of the free agent market for linebackers and defensive lineman thus far, and Woike notes that Jay Bromley could be a name to watch if the team cannot fill its DL needs in the draft.
  • One team that decidedly does not need to draft a defensive lineman is the Rams, although Gary Klein of the Los Angeles Times said the team could still be on the lookout for DL depth in the later rounds of the draft. Klein notes in a separate piece that the Rams — who will not be on the clock until the third round — do need to address their LB corps. The team has three fourth-round selections and four sixth-round picks, and Klein says Los Angeles will be on the lookout for LBs, especially edge rushers.

Denzel Perryman Has Hamstring Tendon Strain

It is believed that Chargers LB Denzel Perryman suffered a hamstring tendon strain in last night’s loss to Kansas City, as Ian Rapoport of NFL.com tweets. Perryman will undergo an MRI today, but the remainder of his season is very much in doubt.

Denzel Perryman (Vertical)

Perryman was carted to the locker room shortly before halftime last night, and losing him would be a significant blow to Los Angeles, whose playoff hopes already took a major hit with the defeat. Perryman was activated from injured reserve just last month after undergoing ankle surgery following the team’s first preseason game.

His return was critical to the Chargers’ recent surge, as his run-stuffing ability and leadership helped to stabilize the Bolts’ defense. The team will need Jatavis Brown to step up in a big way to help fill the void.

In his six games this season, Perryman had posted 34 total tackles and a fumble recovery. The former second-round pick out of Miami will enter the final year of his rookie contract in 2018.

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