Greg Little (OT)

Panthers Trade OL Greg Little to Dolphins

The Panthers have traded Greg Little to the Dolphins, per a club announcement. In return, the Dolphins will send a 2022 seventh-round choice to Carolina. 

Little, the No. 37 overall pick in 2019, has appeared in just 14 games over the last two seasons. After starting just three times in that span, he’ll be competing for a reserve spot with the Dolphins. They could probably use the help after their running game stalled in the preseason opener.

Over the next few weeks, Little will vie for time behind starting tackles Austin Jackson and Jesse Davis. Rookie guard Liam Eichenberg, center Michael Dieter, and Robert Hunt are projected to start in the middle.

The Panthers didn’t get much in this deal, but it’s better than nothing. Little was likely on the roster bubble. Now, they’ve got two seventh-round picks — their original one now belongs to the Rams, but they also own the Titans’ seventh-rounder in 2022.

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Cam Erving To Compete For Panthers’ LT Job

When the Panthers signed OL Cameron Erving in free agency, Erving’s ability to line up at any position on the O-line was cited as one of his best assets. At the time of the signing, Joseph Person of The Athletic suggested that Erving would have a chance to compete for Carolina’s starting LT job, and now that the team’s summer roster is mostly set, Person confirms that Erving is very much in the mix to be Sam Darnold‘s blindside protector.

As Panthers fans know all too well, the team’s left tackle post has been a revolving door for nearly a decade. Whoever wins the job will be Carolina’s ninth LT in as many years, and at first blush, Erving doesn’t look like the long-term solution the Panthers have been seeking. The Browns drafted the Florida State product in the first round of the 2015 draft, but the fact that the Browns flipped him to the Chiefs for a fifth-round pick before his third pro season tells you all you need to know about his tenure in Cleveland.

He ultimately played three seasons in Kansas City, starting 25 games over that span and lining up at left tackle and both guard positions. His play was not good enough to convince the Chiefs to pick up his 2020 option, and he hooked on with the Cowboys last May. Due to multiple knee injuries, he played in just six games (five starts) for Dallas.

As Person notes, Erving missed most of the Panthers’ OTAs and minicamp due to an unspecified injury, though he is expected to be ready to go for the start of training camp. Trenton Scott, who played four games at LT for the Panthers last season, remains in the mix for the starting job in 2021, but he is dealing with an undisclosed injury of his own.

2019 draftees Greg Little and Dennis Daley are also in the running, but Person does not mention third-round rookie Brady Christensen as an LT candidate. Carolina brass was very high on Christensen and targeted him with the No. 60 overall selection before the team got word of the Saints’ interest in WR Terrace Marshall Jr. The Panthers nabbed Marshall at No. 60 and ultimately traded up to land Christensen with the No. 70 overall pick.

However, Scouts Inc. actually had a seventh-round grade on Christensen, and his stature and lack of lateral quickness might make him a better fit at guard at the professional level. At least initially, it seems that the Panthers plan to deploy him on the interior.

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Panthers Place Greg Little On IR

The season is over for Greg Little. On Thursday, the Panthers placed the left tackle on injured reserve with an ankle injury. 

The league’s modified IR rules for 2020 allow players to come back after three games missed, but with only three games to go, that’ll be a wrap on Little’s campaign. This marks yet another disappointing year for the 2019 second-round pick. As a rookie, he was limited to just four games, thanks to knee and ankle injuries plus a pair of concussions. This year, he suited up for ten games, including three starts on the left side, but he’s been out for the last two weeks.

Little came out of Mississippi with plenty of hype, especially for his length and athleticism at 325 pounds. But if the Panthers had a chance at a mulligan, they probably would have gone in a different direction. Little was tapped with the No. 37 overall pick, where they could have snagged wide receivers A.J. Brown or D.K. Metcalf.

Little will now focus on his recovery and a 2021 return. He remains under contract through 2022 with reasonable cap hits of $2.08MM and $2.43MM in the next two years.

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Panthers Place OL Greg Little On IR

Greg Little‘s rookie season has come to an end. ESPN’s David Newton reports (via Twitter) that the Panthers left tackle has landed on the injured reserve. Carolina activated wideout Chris Hogan from the injured reserve to take the open roster spot.

Little had a tough act to follow in college, as he replaced former first-rounder Laremy Tunsil on the Ole Miss offensive line. His performance ended up being plenty impressive, and Little was ultimately selected in the second round of this past year’s draft.

The rookie had started three of his four games this season, but he’s been in and out of the lineup due to concussions. He sat out the past two games with an ankle injury, and that’s presumably the ailment that landed him on the injured reserve.

Hogan underwent arthroscopic knee surgery earlier this season. The former Patriots and Bills wideout will rejoin a receiving corps that has seen D.J. Moore solidify himself as a high-end receiver and Curtis Samuel eclipse his previous career-high receiving total. Hogan caught just three passes for 24 yards before injuring his knee.

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NFC Notes: Packers, Clark, Lynch, Giants

The Packers made the surprising decision to cut Mike Daniels earlier today, and GM Brian Gutekunst confirmed that the club did try to trade Daniels first (via Rob Demovsky of ESPN.com). It sounds as if Green Bay made some headway in trade talks, but the talks broke down over the last couple of weeks. Gutekunst also mentioned Daniels’ foot injury as a factor in the decision.

Now for more from the NFC:

  • The decision to cut Daniels has opened the door for the Packers to sign NT Kenny Clark to a lucrative extension, as Tom Silverstein of the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel tweets. Silverstein suggests (via Twitter) that such a deal could happen at the end of the season.
  • Matt Barrows of The Athletic suggests that, although John Lynch is the 49ers‘ GM, he is primarily in charge of the defense, while head coach Kyle Shanahan picks the offensive talent. And Lynch has missed on a few major decisions on the defensive side of the ball, so if that unit should struggle again, not only will defensive coordinator Robert Saleh be in danger of losing his job, but Lynch could be as well.
  • The Giants worked out free agent safeties Johnathan Cyprien and Tre Boston several days ago, but Jordan Raanan of ESPN.com does not believe Big Blue is going to pay for a starting-caliber safety at this point (Twitter link). He thinks the club was simply doing its due diligence.
  • The Panthers will give Daryl Williams some reps at left tackle and left guard in training camp, per GM Marty Hurney (via Jourdan Rodrigue of The Athletic on Twitter). Williams signed a one-year deal in March to remain with Carolina, but Hurney is said to prefer Taylor Moton at right tackle — where Williams has spent most of his time as a pro — and the club drafted LT Greg Little in the second round this year. So if Williams is to earn the big FA contract that he missed out on this year, he may have to do so at an unfamiliar spot.
  • The Buccaneers have placed Jason Pierre-Paul on the active/non-football injury list, as James Palmer of the NFL Network tweets. Although a player on the active/NFI list can be activated from that list at any time before the start of the season, that will almost certainly not happen with JPP, who is expected to miss at least a chunk of the regular season.

Panthers Sign Second-Rounder Greg Little

The Panthers have signed second-round pick Greg Little, according to a team announcement. With that, the Panthers have just one unsigned draft pick remaining in first-round defensive end Brian Burns

The Panthers traded up in the second round of the NFL Draft to land the Ole Miss product and he may be on track for the starting left tackle job in 2019. The Panthers used Taylor Moton on the blindside last season, but GM Marty Hurney‘s preference is to have Moton play right tackle. Daryl Williams is still in the mix for a spot on the right side of the line, but the club appears prepared to pencil in Little as its starting LT.

The 6’5″, 310-pound lineman started in all 12 games last year at left tackle and was named a Second-Team All-American by multiple outlets. Thanks in large part to Little, Ole Miss had the best offense in the SEC and finished fifth in the nation in passing offense with 346.4 yards per game.

With prototypical size for the tackle position, Little could be one of the league’s most successful rookies this season.

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NFC South Notes: Little, Falcons, Grayson

The Panthers traded up in the second round of the 2019 draft to land Ole Miss offensive tackle Greg Little, and as Josh Alper of Pro Football Talk writes, Carolina’s left tackle job is seemingly Little’s to lose. The Panthers deployed Taylor Moton on the blindside last season, but GM Marty Hurney‘s preference is to have Moton play right tackle. Daryl Williams is still in the mix for a spot on the right side of the line, but the club appears prepared to pencil in Little as its starting LT, which would make the rookie a key figure in the Panthers’ 2019 fortunes.

Now for more from the NFC South:

  • The Falcons have until July 15 to work out a long-term extension with franchise-tagged defensive tackle Grady Jarrett, but GM Thomas Dimitroff recently conceded that Jarrett may play out the 2019 campaign under the tag, which suggests that the two sides still aren’t particularly close on a new contract. Dimitroff said (via D. Orlando Ledbetter of the Atlanta Journal-Constitution), “I’m confident that something will get done one way or the other. If it doesn’t, we have a year to continue to talk about it.”
  • The Falcons‘ starting safety tandem of Keanu Neal and Ricardo Allen, who are recovering from major injuries that ended their 2018 seasons prematurely, are both expected to be at full strength by the time training camp begins in July, as Ledbetter notes in a separate piece.
  • The Saints tried out former LSU track star Cyril Grayson yesterday, as Josh Katzenstein of the Times-Picayune tweets. Grayson has spent time with the Seahawks, Colts, and Bears, but he has yet to see regular season action.

Seahawks Send No. 37 Pick To Panthers

John Schneider gave notice he was on the lookout for additional picks, with the Seahawks entering the draft with a league-low four. He is achieving this goal.

The Seahawks again traded down, giving the Panthers the No. 37 pick. Carolina used it on tackle Greg Little. In return for moving down to No. 47, the Seahawks will add an extra third-rounder — No. 77.

Little adds to the Panthers’ key offensive line transactions this offseason. They re-signed Daryl Williams and added Matt Paradis. Little profiles as a possible left tackle starter. Former second-round pick Taylor Moton held that job down last season.

This marks the third time the Seahawks have moved down thus far in this draft, having made multiple deals on Thursday night.

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North Notes: Packers, Steelers, Vikings

The Packers will bring back veteran tight ends Jimmy Graham and Marcedes Lewis in 2019, but that given that both players are over the age of 30, tight end must be a priority for Green Bay in next weekend’s draft, opines Jim Owczarski of PackersNews.com. Given that they own 10 picks and possess the fourth-most draft capital, the Packers will certainly have an opportunity to find a youthful tight end. With the 12th overall selection, Green Bay could theoretically target Iowa’s T.J. Hockenson, while fellow Hawkeye Noah Fant or Alabama’s Irv Smith Jr. could be in play with pick No. 30. The 2019 draft class is exceptionally deep at tight end, so the Packers should have plenty of chances to add to the position throughout the weekend.

Here’s more from the NFL’s two North divisions:

  • Speaking of the Packers‘ draft, Green Bay recently hosted Ole Miss offensive tackle Greg Little, according to Tom Silverstein of the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel (Twitter link). Not to be confused with the former Browns receiver of the same name, this Little is anything but at 6’6″, 325 pounds. Viewed as a potential Day 2 selection, Little could help reinforce a Packers offensive line that took a step back in 2018. While left tackle should be manned by David Bakhtiari for the foreseeable future, right tackle Bryan Bulaga is entering the final year of his contract.
  • While other quarterbacks like Russell Wilson and Aaron Rodgers have recently campaign for new deals, Steelers quarterback Ben Roethlisberger has not taken the same tack, as Mike Florio of Pro Football Talk writes. Roethlisberger, 37, is entering the final year of his contract: he’s due a $12MM base salary and will count for $23.2MM on Pittsburgh’s salary cap. He’s still engaged in ongoing negotiations with the Steelers, and as Florio notes, Roethlisberger would be due more than $60MM over the next two years if the franchise tag was deployed, so that could be a starting point in talks.
  • Free agent defensive end Geneo Grissom worked out for the Lions today, reports Howard Balzer (Twitter link). A former third-round pick of the Patriots, Grissom should be familiar with current Detroit head coach/former New England defensive coordinator Matt Patricia‘s scheme. Grissom, 26, never lived up to his draft billing and played in fewer than 200 defensive snaps for the Patriots before being cut last November.
  • New Vikings backup quarterback Sean Mannion‘s one-year deal is a minimum salary benefit pact, tweets Ben Goessling of the Star Tribune. As such, Mannion will only carry the salary cap charge of a second-year player despite having four years of NFL experience under his belt. The former Rams signal-caller received a $90K signing bonus to become Kirk Cousins‘ understudy.

Ole Miss OL Greg Little Declares For Draft

One of a few Ole Miss products who may well end up as first-round picks, offensive lineman Greg Little announced (on Twitter) he will forgo his senior season and declare for the 2019 draft.

Little is expected to go high in next year’s draft. He has started every game since the start of last season and has appeared in every Ole Miss contest since debuting for the Rebels in 2016.

The 6-foot-6, 325-pound tackle joins wide receivers A.J. Brown and D.K. Metcalf in declaring for the ’19 draft. Grading as the best offensive line prospect exiting his junior season and No. 8 overall 2019 prospect, per ESPN.com’s Todd McShay (ESPN+ link), Little is making an understandable decision to leave school early. ESPN’s Mel Kiper Jr. called Little the best true tackle in this year’s class, noting Alabama’s Jonah Williams may well slide to guard.

Little was a five-star recruit who became a first-team All-SEC player and an All-American. With tackles increasingly difficult to develop, he will be a coveted commodity in April. Little would be the second top-15 Ole Miss-produced tackle in four years, with Laremy Tunsil going to the Dolphins at No. 13 in 2016.

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