Fozzy Whittaker

Panthers Place Fozzy Whittaker On IR

Fozzy Whittaker‘s season has ended before it could even begin. The Panthers announced the running back has been placed on injured reserve with a non-contact ACL tear. 

[RELATED: Panthers Bidder Wants To Involve Peyton Manning]

Whittaker, 29, has spent the last four seasons with the Panthers. For the most part, he’s been used as a reserve option and a third-down running back. He saw the most usage of his career in 2016 when he carried the ball 57 times and averaged an impressive 4.6 yards per try in that limited sample. Last year, however, he had just seven carries in 12 games.

The Whittaker injury is bad news for Carolina, but they are not lacking options in the backfield. The Panthers will start Christian McCaffrey with 1,000-yard rusher C.J. Anderson getting a fair amount of work as well. Cameron Artis-Payne is also on hand for backup work and newcomer Elijah Hood figures to have a better chance at making the roster now that a spot has opened up.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Panthers Re-Sign Fozzy Whittaker

Fozzy Whittaker will be sticking around North Carolina. Joe Person of The Charlotte Observer reports (via Twitter) that the running back has signed a new two-year deal with the Panthers. Ian Rapoport of NFL.com reports (via Twitter) that the contract is worth $2.5MM.

Fozzy WhittakerThe former undrafted free agent originally joined the organization during the 2014 season, and he proceeded to play in at least 10 games during each of his three seasons with the Panthers. The 28-year-old had his best NFL season in 2016, setting career-highs in yards (265), attempts (57), yards per carry (4.6), catches (25) and receiving yards (226).

The running back will presumably resume his role as the Panthers third running back, slotted in behind Jonathan Stewart and Cameron Artis-Payne.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Minor Moves: Monday

Today’s minor moves around the NFL:

  • The Packers have informed running back DuJuan Harris they will not extend him an exclusive rights tender, Tom Silverstein of the Journal Sentinel tweets.
  • The Ravens are expected to assign an exclusive-rights free agent tender to running back Fitzgerald Toussaint, Aaron Wilson of The Baltimore Sun tweets.
  • The Steelers have offered one-year deals to restricted free agents Antwon Blake, Will Johnson, and Robert Golden, Scott Brown of ESPN tweets. All three will get the lower tender, according to Ed Bouchette of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette (on Twitter).
  • The Cardinals announced they’ve re-signed Alameda Ta’amu to a one-year contract, as Mike Jurecki of FOX Sports tweets. The Cards decided not to tender him but they have retained him at a lower salary.
  • The 49ers will restructure their deal with safety Craig Dahl, according to Aaron Wilson of The Baltimore Sun (on Twitter). It’s now a one-year, $1.3MM deal with a $200K signing bonus, a $175K roster bonus, and a $50K workout bonus.
  • The Buccaneers announced that they have re-signed defensive ends Larry English and Lawrence Sidbury, tight end Luke Stocker and linebacker Jason Williams.
  • The Ravens have assigned a $510K exclusive rights tender to offensive lineman Ryan Jensen, a source tells Aaron Wilson of The Baltimore Sun (on Twitter). Wilson (link) also hears that the Ravens have given wide receiver Kamar Aiken a $585K exclusive rights tender.
  • The Ravens gave cornerback Tramain Jacobs a $510K tender, per Wilson (link).

Earlier updates:

  • The Bills announced that they have extended the contract of kicker Jordan Gay, according to ESPN.com’s Mike Rodak (via Twitter).
  • The Browns announced that they have tendered qualifying offers to four of their restricted free agents: free safety Tashaun Gipson, defensive back Johnson Bademosi, defensive lineman Ishmaa’ily Kitchen, and linebacker Craig Robertson, Nate Ulrich of the Akron Beacon-Journal tweets. It’s a second-round tender for Robertson, according to Mary Kay Cabot of The Plain Dealer (on Twitter). Gipson also gets the second-round tender, according to Ulrich (link).
  • The Ravens have sent a second-round restricted tender $2.356MM to Pro Bowl kicker Justin Tucker, a source tells Aaron Wilson of The Baltimore Sun (on Twitter).
  • The Steelers announced that they have agreed to terms with veteran tight end Matt Spaeth on a two-year deal. The 31-year-old appeared in 15 regular-season games in 2014 (eight starts) and caught three passes for 46 yards and a touchdown, and also started the Steelers’ playoff game against Baltimore.
  • The Buccaneers are not expected to tender an offer to fullback Jorvorskie Lane, Greg Auman of the Tampa Bay Times tweets. They could bring Lane, an ERFA, back on a different deal later, however. Lane had a tough year in 2014. He was hit with a two-game suspension for violating the league’s policy on performance enhancing substances in October and his season ended in November after he underwent surgery on his injured right leg.
  • The Broncos have placed the low-level contract tender on restricted free agent defensive back Tony Carter, extending him a one-year offer worth $1.542MM, per Mike Klis of the Denver Post. The move gives Denver the right to match any offer sheet Carter signs with another team, and according to Ian Rapoport of NFL.com (Twitter link), there may be strong outside interest.
  • The Cowboys have placed one-year tenders of $1.542MM each on restricted free agent punter Chris Jones and restricted free agent running back Lance Dunbar, sources tell Brandon George of The Dallas Morning News. Dunbar is the Cowboys’ third running back and tendering him gives Dallas some insurance if DeMarco Murray signs with another team in free agency. He also gives them a reserve back in the event that they have to cut ties with Joseph Randle.
  • The Browns announced that they have re-signed offensive lineman Ryan Seymour. Seymour, 25, appeared in 11 games during the 2014 season, starting three at center. Nick McDonald was originally the team’s choice at center after Alex Mack went down with a broken leg, but Seymour eventually got his chance at the job.
  • The Panthers have re-signed wide receiver/kick returner Brenton Bersin to a one-year deal, a source tells Joe Person of the Charlotte Observer (via Twitter). Bersin was an exclusive rights free agent.
  • The Panthers announced that they re-signed Fozzy Whittaker on a two-year deal, according to Person (on Twitter). The tailback had 32 carries for 145 yards last season and also contributed on kick returns. Linebacker Ben Jacobs and center Brian Folkerts got one-year deals to remain in Carolina (link). Tackle Kevin Hughes is the only Panthers ERFA who wasn’t tendered an offer (link).

Minor Moves: Sunday

We will post any and all “minor moves” right here over the course of the day:

  • The Colts have signed undrafted rookie tackle Matt Hall, the team announced. Hall originally signed with the Vikings in May, but was cut by the team on Friday.
  • The Redskins have waived 2013 fifth-round draft pick Brandon Jenkins, and activated Mo Hurt after he passed his physical, reports Mike Jones of the Washington Post (via Twitter). Moving on from Jenkins was not a surprise, as John Keim of ESPN.com, Tarik El-Bashir of CSNWashington, and Jones all took to Twitter to comment on the player’s struggles and inability to contribute.
  • The Panthers have signed former Brown Fozzy Whittaker to replace the injured Tyler Gaffney, reports Ian Rapoport of NFL.com (via Twitter). Whitaker can contribute both as a tailback and kick returner.
  • The Bears have waived guard James Dunbar out of TCU, reports Jeff Dickerson of ESPNChicago.com (via Twitter).
  • The Dolphins have signed offensive tackle Steven Baker, reports Aaron Wilson of the Baltimore Sun (via Twitter).

Earlier updates

  • The Colts have waived tackle Jack Breckner, tweets Craig Kelley of Colts.com.
  • The Panthers have signed safety Tom Nelson, tweets David Newton of ESPN.com. Newton adds that the club still has a roster spot to replace injured RB Tyler Gaffney.
  • The Patriots have waived wide receiver Greg Orton, tweets Jeff Howe of The Boston Herald. Howe adds that Orton will revert to IR once he clears waivers. Shalize Manza Young of The Boston Glove tweets that the team has signed wideouts Cole Stanford and Brian Tyms and that the 90-man roster is once again full.
  • The Colts have signed running back Davin Meggett, tweets Matt Zenitz of The Baltimore Sun. Meggett, who has spent time on the practice squads of four different NFL clubs since leaving the University of Maryland in 2011, signed with the Winnipeg Blue Bombers of the Canadian Football League in June but was released by the team earlier this month. Meggett provides backfield depth in the wake of Vick Ballard‘s season-ending injury. Prior to the signing, Stephen Holder of The Indianapolis Star examined the different options the Colts might pursue to replace Ballard, options that still may be on the table after acquiring the unproven Meggett.
  • In a corresponding move, the Colts have place LB Aaron Morgan on IR, tweets Aaron Wilson of The Baltimore Sun.

Rob DiRe and Ben Levine contributed to this post.

Browns Cut Vince Young, Four Others

Vince Young‘s stint with the Browns was short-lived, as owner Jimmy Haslam confirmed today that Cleveland has released the veteran quarterback (Twitter link via Mary Kay Cabot of the Cleveland Plain Dealer). The Browns also cut quarterback Alex Tanney, defensive back Brandon Hughes, defensive lineman Brian Sanford, and running back Fozzy Whittaker, according to the team (Twitter link).

Young, who turns 31 this weekend, signed a contract with the Browns at the start of May after participating in the team’s minicamp. The former Pro Bowler spent time in camp with the Packers in 2013 and the Bills in 2012, but was released prior to the regular season in both instances, and hasn’t seen any real NFL playing time since 2011 in Philadelphia.

With Young and Tanney out of the picture, the quarterbacks on Cleveland’s roster include Brian Hoyer, Tyler Thigpen, Connor Shaw, who agreed to sign as an undrafted free agent, and, of course, 22nd overall pick Johnny Manziel.

Browns Expected To Sign Ben Tate

Free agent running back Ben Tate is expected to sign with the Browns today, according to John Telich of Fox 8 News in Cleveland. The deal, contingent on Tate passing a physical, is reportedly performance-based, says Telich (via Twitter).

Tate, 25, has played 40 games over three seasons (nine starts in place of injured starter Arian Foster) and totaled 421 carries for 1,992 yards (4.7 yards per carry) and 10 touchdowns with 58 receptions for 287 yards (4.9 yards per catch) and zero touchdowns. However, he has been on IR twice in his young career. He missed 2010 because of a broken ankle and dealt with foot, hamstring and rib injuries in 2012.

Tate would join a crowded, albeit undistinguished, Cleveland backfield which includes Edwin Baker, Dion Lewis, Chris Ogbonnaya and Fozzy Whittaker.