Joey Slye

Minor NFL Transactions: 10/23/20

Here are Friday’s minor moves:

Carolina Panthers

New Orleans Saints

Pittsburgh Steelers

  • Promoted: DE Henry Mondeaux

Extra Points: Bieniemy, Giants, Panthers

Although the Giants are just one game back of the NFC East lead, they are 1-5 and appear on the verge of their fourth straight double-digit loss season. GM Dave Gettleman has presided over the previous two 10-plus-loss campaigns, and some around the league have tabbed the Giants GM job as a potential opening ahead of the 2021 offseason, Dan Graziano and Jeremy Fowler of ESPN.com note. The Panthers‘ GM spot has also surfaced around the NFL as one to monitor. Marty Hurney, in place long before Matt Rhule‘s arrival, has been rumored as a potential chopping-block candidate because of Rhule’s overhaul and seven-year contract. Hurney’s contract runs through 2020. Gettleman made his way back to New York shortly after his Carolina ouster, but his rebuild has not taken off. The Giants have never lost double-digit games in four straight seasons.

Here is the latest from around the league:

  • Sticking with staffs, the Texans are indeed expected to strongly consider Eric BieniemyDeshaun Watson has advocated for Patrick Mahomes‘ OC, and Graziano and Fowler note the Texans “definitely” have interest in the Chiefs assistant. The Chiefs are prepared to lose Bieniemy this offseason, which would mark the third time they have lost an OC since 2016. Houston is believed to be seeking a quarterback guru and will have Josh McDaniels (again) and Bills OC Brian Daboll on its target list as well.
  • The Bears may not need to make it back to the playoffs for their current power brokers to stay in place. Both Matt Nagy and GM Ryan Pace are believed to be on track to stick around for 2021, per Fowler and Graziano. Chicago’s 5-1 start has come with just a plus-12 point differential, and the team benched Pace’s handpicked quarterback early in the season. Despite Mitchell Trubisky‘s struggles and current backup status, Pace is currently believed to be safe to receive a seventh year as GM.
  • It does not sound like the Chargers are expecting to have Austin Ekeler back anytime soon. The Bolts’ starting running back is battling what Anthony Lynn calls a “very serious” hamstring injury that has him set to be sidelined for the foreseeable future, Daniel Popper of The Athletic tweets. Given a four-year, $24MM extension this offseason, Ekeler went down in Week 4. The Bolts have been without many key players on offense since turning to Justin Herbert in Week 2.
  • Adoree’ Jackson returned to Titans practice Wednesday. The team designated the former first-round cornerback as an IR-return player, making him eligible to face the Steelers in Week 7 — if the team activates him by Saturday afternoon. Jackson landed on IR before Week 1 with a knee injury.
  • The Panthers placed Joey Slye on their reserve/COVID-19 list and brought in kickers for workouts this week. Carolina has auditioned Casey Bednarski (Minnesota State), Taylor Bertolet and Austin Parker (Duke), per Aaron Wilson of the Houston Chronicle (on Twitter). Bednarski began his coronavirus testing with the team Tuesday, Joe Person of The Athletic tweets. None of these kickers has NFL experience. Slye has not tested positive but came in contact with someone who had, Adam Schefter of ESPN.com notes. The Panthers do not have a kicker on their practice squad, but Slye has not been at the team’s facility since Sunday and could still kick in Week 7.
  • The Dolphins conducted an interesting workout Wednesday. They brought in former Seahawks second-round pick Malik McDowell for an audition, per Field Yates of ESPN.com (on Twitter). The 2017 draftee has not played an NFL down, with an ATV accident and subsequent legal troubles harpooning his career. The former Michigan State defensive lineman recently spent time in prison after a bevy of charges stemming from a 2019 arrest.

Minor NFL Transactions: 10/21/20

Here are Wednesday’s minor moves:

Buffalo Bills

Carolina Panthers

Detroit Lions

New England Patriots

Philadelphia Eagles

  • Activated from reserve/COVID-19 list: OL Matt Pryor

San Francisco 49ers

Seattle Seahawks

Washington Football Team

Panthers Release K Graham Gano

The Panthers have released Graham Gano, according to a social media post from his wife (Twitter link via Joe Person of The Athletic). The veteran kicker was slated to make $3MM this year.

Joey Slye, meanwhile, is under contract for just $675K. It’s a cost-cutting maneuver for Carolina, though the team will be left with even more dead money on the books. The Panthers have saved $2.8MM while taking on a leftover $1.5MM charge, to be dispersed over the next two years. All in all, the Panthers overhaul has saddled them with nearly $43MM in dead money in 2020.

Gano was tremendous in his last full season in 2017, sinking 29 of his 30 field goal tries for a league-leading 96.7% conversion rate. That performance earned him the first Pro Bowl bid of his career, and it also helped him secure a four-year, $17MM deal. Before his release, Gano had the fifth-highest AAV ($4.25MM) of any kicker in the NFL.

Now, the job belongs to Slye. Known for his strong leg, Slye nailed 78.1% of his kicks in 2019, with an 8-of-11 success rate from 50+ yards. He also missed four extra point tries, but the Panthers seem to think that he’ll tamp that number down moving forward.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Panthers Re-Sign Joey Slye

Joey Slye is set for another season in Carolina. On Thursday, the club announced a new deal with the kicker for the 2020 season. 

Slye was set to be an exclusive rights free agent this offseason, which means that he was more or less bound to the Panthers no matter what. But, with the new deal, he has a bit of early security and, perhaps, a modest pay bump over the slotted salary.

Slye wasn’t supposed to the Panthers’ kicker last season, but Graham Gano‘s sore knee forced him to the injured reserve list just before the start of the season and the Panthers had to pivot. Slye went on to connect on 25 of 32 field goals, and 31 of his 35 extra point attempts.

It was enough to get another look on a low-cost contract, but his misses won’t be automatically forgotten. In late November, for example, Slye left five points on the board against the Saints, who went on to win by three. That loss dropped the Panthers to 5-6 and more or less crushed their playoff hopes.

Gano, meanwhile, is under contract through the 2021 season. In 2020, he’s set to count for a $4.5MM cap charge.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Panthers May Look At Kickers

Joey Slye might not be long for Carolina. The Panthers will discuss bringing in kickers to try out for the team, head coach Ron Rivera says (Twitter link via Joe Person of The Athletic).

Slye left five points on the scoreboard on Sunday as the Saints won by three points. Slye missed two extra point attempts, plus a potential game-winning 28-yard try. It was an extremely costly loss – the Panthers are now 5-6, with only a 1% chance of making the playoffs, per the New York Times‘ odds calculator.

In the longer term, Slye’s spot was already in jeopardy – Graham Gano, the Panthers’ longtime kicker, is slated to return next season. Recently, he vowed to comeback better than ever on social media, so Slye is probably going to be peddling his wares elsewhere in 2020 no matter what.

Unfortunately, the Panthers’ season is effectively over, regardless of what they do at the kicker spot. On Sunday, they’ll look to return to the .500 mark when they face the Redskins in D.C.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Panthers Place Graham Gano On IR

The Panthers have placed kicker Graham Gano on injured reserve (Twitter link via Tom Pelissero of NFL.com). There was some discussion about Gano being carried on IR, but they’ll move on from him instead and turn to Joey Slye.

Gano, a kicker with a solid track record, was not a trade candidate because of his injury and his high cap number (roughly $3.7MM).

Slye, a Virginia Tech product, auditioned for the Bucs last year but ultimately remained unsigned. He’s impressed the Panthers enough to get a crack at the job for 2019, and potentially beyond if he performs well.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Panthers To Place Graham Gano On IR?

Graham Gano, one of the highest-paid kickers in the league, may be headed to the injured reserve, as David Newton of ESPN.com writes. Gano, who also finished the 2018 season on IR, continues to deal with a sore knee.

The team could carry Gano on its initial 53-man roster and then put him on IR, which would make him eligible for a return later in the season. As Newton observes, Gano is not a trade candidate because of the injury and his high cap number (roughly $3.7MM).

If Gano is not ready for Week 1, the Panthers will likely turn to Joey Slye, unless a more appealing kicker becomes available during final cutdowns. Slye, a Virginia Tech product, auditioned for the Bucs last year but ultimately remained unsigned.

He hooked on with the Giants in May, but Big Blue subsequently waived him. He signed with the Panthers at the beginning of this month and has impressed in the preseason, converting all six of his field goal attempts and both of his extra point chances. He could win the job with a strong showing in Carolina’s preseason finale tonight.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Minor NFL Transactions: 8/1/19

Today’s minor moves:

Baltimore Ravens

Carolina Panthers

Los Angeles Chargers

Oakland Raiders

Giants Sign T.J. Jones

In the wake of Golden Tate’s four-game suspension and Corey Coleman’s season-ending injury, the Giants have added reinforcements. On Saturday, they signed fifth-year wide receiver T.J. Jones and former practice squad player Amba Etta-Tawo, per a team announcement. 

[RELATED: Reactions, Notes On Golden Tate’s Suspension]

Jones, 27, had 64 total catches for 814 yards and four touchdowns in his first four NFL seasons with the Lions. Etta-Tawo, 25, spent some time on the Giants’ practice squad and played for the Birmingham Iron of the Alliance of American Football League.

To make room, the Giants formally placed wideout Coleman on injured reserve and waived kicker Joey Slye in corresponding moves to free space.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.