Kyle Allen

NFC East Notes: Giants, Eagles, Haskins

Barring a major surprise or trade, the NFL Draft should kick off with the Bengals selecting LSU quarterback Joe Burrow at No. 1 overall and the Redskins taking Ohio State defensive end Chase Young with the second pick. Then, at No. 3, many expect the Lions to tap Buckeyes cornerback Jeff Okudah as a replacement for Darius Slay.

When the Giants pick at No. 4, however, things could get interesting. The Giants could be a prime position to trade down and load up in the later rounds. If they stand pat, GM Dave Gettleman could be tempted by one of his beloved “Hog Mollies,” an imposing tackle to help fortify their offensive line.

However, in his latest mock draft, ESPN.com’s Todd McShay predicts that the G-Men will take Clemson outside linebacker Isaiah Simmons. The versatile defender could help slow down the run, put pressure on opposing QBs, and help turn around a defense that allowed more than 28 points per game in 2019.

Here’s more from the NFC East:

  • Further down in the mock draft, McShay anticipates the Cowboys selecting a cornerback at No. 17 to help replace Byron Jones. In this scenario, he has them going with Florida’s C.J. Henderson, a player who is getting more and more buzz for his reported sub-4.4 40-yard-dash time. At No. 21 overall, he has the Eagles taking LSU inside linebacker Patrick Queen, even though many see the Birds targeting wide receivers, including Queen’s teammate Justin Jefferson.
  • Count ESPN.com’s Tim McManus among those that see PHI going WR. The Eagles watched big-name receivers fly off the board in March, even as Nelson Agholor moved on from the Raiders. With Alshon Jeffery still working his way back from Lisfranc surgery, the Eagles have to at least consider one of this year’s many talented targets. Jefferson is one possibility; Baylor wide receiver Denzel Mims, Arizona State’s Brandon Aiyuk, and Clemson’s Tee Higgins could also be available when the Eagles select at No. 21.
  • The Redskins haven’t ruled out a return for Alex Smith or a significant role for the newly acquired Kyle Allen. Still, head coach Ron Rivera expects rising sophomore Dwayne Haskins to be the team’s starter in 2020. “That’s what we’re going into camp believing, but they’re going to compete,” Rivera told WFNZ (via Peter King of NBC Sports). “We really like what we have in terms of our young quarterbacks. Kyle is a young guy who has a live arm, understands the game, understands how we do things, so I’m excited about what the potential could be.”

Panthers To Trade QB Kyle Allen To Redskins

Hours after agreeing to terms with XFL standout P.J. Walker, the Panthers are unloading a quarterback they just extended. The Panthers have agreed to trade Kyle Allen to the Redskins, Tom Pelissero of NFL.com tweets.

A 2018 UDFA, Allen was the Panthers’ primary starter last season under Ron Rivera. He signed an extension March 10. Washington will send a fifth-round pick to Carolina for Allen, Ian Rapoport of NFL.com tweets.

This will not only reunite Allen with Rivera, but the Redskins have former Panthers QBs coach Scott Turner on board as offensive coordinator. Turner was on Carolina’s staff for each of Allen’s two seasons with the team.

Allen, 24, will clear a path for Walker to make the Panthers’ roster and fill a Redskins need. With Alex Smith‘s status still uncertain, Washington now has a healthy quarterback set to join Dwayne Haskins. While the Redskins have been linked to Tua Tagovailoa, they are still the frontrunners to draft Chase Young. Washington has also been connected to trade-down maneuvers, with Tagovailoa and Justin Herbert drawing interest from other teams. Allen would stand to be Washington’s QB2 of the moment, and in an offseason that is unlikely to feature any OTAs, the Texas A&M product’s familiarity in Turner’s system will be critical.

Taking over after Cam Newton‘s September re-injury, Allen started strong but faded down the stretch. He ended his season with a 17-16 TD-INT ratio, 3,322 passing yards in 13 games and a 62% completion rate. Walker and Will Grier now stand to be Teddy Bridgewater‘s backups.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Panthers Sign Kyle Allen To Extension

Kyle Allen, in all likelihood, wasn’t going anywhere. Now, it’s official. On Tuesday, the Panthers announced a one-year extension for the quarterback. 

Allen was slated to become an exclusive rights free agent, which is to say that he wasn’t truly on course for free agency. Instead of exercising their right to keep Allen for another low-cast year, the Panthers have given him a fresh contract, one that might include a small bump in compensation.

Allen, 24, started in 12 games in Cam Newton‘s stead last year. Early on, he looked sharp – the Panthers rattled off four wins in his first four starts. After that, things got bumpy, though the blame couldn’t be entirely placed on his shoulder pads. The Panthers went 1-7 in Allen’s next eight starts as they tumbled out of playoff contention. The youngster finished out the year with 17 touchdowns against 16 interceptions and seven lost fumbles, a stat reflective of their offensive line issues.

Allen, a former UDFA, is slated to hold the clipboard for Newton once again this year. The Panthers reportedly plan to stick with the former MVP as their starter, but nothing is certain at this stage of the offseason.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Panthers To Bench Kyle Allen, Start Will Grier

It looks like the move that many Panthers fans have been clamoring for might finally happen. The team is expected to bench Kyle Allen and start rookie Will Grier at quarterback in Week 16, sources tell Ian Rapoport of NFL Network (Twitter link).

Allen showed well during a Week 17 spot start last year, and did enough in camp to beat out Grier to be Cam Newton‘s backup at the start of the season. Newton was soon sidelined by his foot injury and eventually placed on injured reserve, so Allen has been starting since Week 3. He had some initial success, and the Panthers won each of his first four starts. There was even some talk of Allen potentially starting over a healthy Newton and being Carolina’s quarterback of the future, but after a hot start he faded pretty fast.

He’s been falling apart in recent weeks, throwing ten interceptions over his past five games. Carolina raised some eyebrows by drafting Grier in the third-round back in April, but he’s yet to take a regular season snap. A West Virginia product, there were some analysts during his last year in college who thought he was a first or second round prospect. He slipped a bit as the pre-draft process went on, and ended up going 100th overall.

He’ll now be seeing his first regular season action on the road against the Colts. The Panthers have one of the most interesting offseasons ahead of them of any team, with reports suggesting they might look to move on from Newton this spring. With so much uncertainty at the position, it makes sense why they’d want to take a look at Grier over the final two games.

With this move, Allen’s days as a starter are likely over for the foreseeable future. It was a nice story for a while, and his rapid rise and fall are a good reminder that nothing lasts long in the National Football League. A second-year UDFA from Houston, Allen can be brought back cheaply next year so it’s possible he’ll once again be Carolina’s backup in 2020.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

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.

Panthers Notes: Newton, HC Candidates, Bradberry

Panthers QB Cam Newton will undergo foot surgery, and as Ian Rapoport of NFL.com writes, Newton is expected to be fully ready and able by March. Rapoport says Carolina has not ruled out retaining Newton — not that the team would publicly say anything different — but the expectation remains that the Panthers will look to trade the former No. 1 overall pick,

The QB market may be unusually robust in 2020, and Newton may be the most desirable piece. The Panthers will not give Newton away, but if they “get a large deal to make it worth their while,” they will pull the trigger.

Now for more out of Charlotte:

  • Of course, what the Panthers do with Newton may depend on who they hire as their permanent head coach. Jason La Canfora of CBS Sports reiterates his view that the Panthers will seek an offensive-minded or QB-driven coach, and what that person thinks of Newton, Kyle Allen, and Will Grier could impact the club’s offseason plans in a big way.
  • In the same piece linked above, Rapoport suggests that owner David Tepper will of course be on the lookout for a top-flight coordinator and someone who is unafraid to embrace analytics, but he suggests that Tepper’s top priority will be a strong manager of people. RapSheet names ex-Packers coach Mike McCarthy, 49ers DC Robert Saleh, and Ravens OC Greg Roman as just a few of the possibilities.
  • Even if the Panthers retain GM Marty Hurney — which is not a guarantee — Adam Schefter of ESPN.com says Tepper, the former minority owner of the Steelers, could look to bring familiar faces from Pittsburgh to Carolina. Tepper plans to name an assistant general manager to focus on pro personnel evaluation and a vice president of football operations, and sources say he could be eyeing Steelers GM Kevin Colbert — whose contract is up at the end of the season — and/or vice president of football and business administration Omar Khan.
  • The Panthers have 28 players eligible for free agency this offseason, and Jourdan Rodrigue of The Athletic examines the decisions that the team will have to make with respect to a few of those players. The club just signed LB Shaq Thompson to a four-year extension, and Rodrigue’s source says the Panthers have made CB James Bradberry their next top priority.

Panthers Sticking With Kyle Allen

Changes have been aplenty recently in Carolina, but new Panthers offensive playcaller Scott Turner made clear there will not be a change at quarterback, according to Max Henson of the Panthers team website. While Kyle Allen has been the team’s replacement for injured star Cam Newton, recent struggles led some to call for rookie Will Grier.

Allen, signed as an undrafted free agent out of Houston, served as Carolina’s backup in his rookie season and was thrust into action after Newton was forced to rest a painful foot injury. At first, Allen looked like a potential star, leading Carolina to four straight victories while throwing 7 touchdowns and no interceptions. The team is just 1-5 since, however, and Allen has thrown more interceptions (10) than touchdowns (8).

The future of the Panthers quarterback position remains one of the biggest offseason questions in the league. Newton’s contract allows the team to trade or release him and save over $19MM in cap space. However, he remains the best quarterback in their franchise’s history and is not very far removed from being one of the best players in the NFL. He would immediately become one of the most intriguing players on the trade market or as a free agent (if the team released him).

If the Panthers believe Allen is a legitimate franchise quarterback, his extremely team-friendly contract could allow the team to recoup draft capital for Newton while using the cap savings to sure up other positions. Who’s decision that will be remains unclear. After firing head coach Ron Rivera, new ownership, led by David Tepper, will likely want the next head coach involved in making that decision. By sticking with Allen, it will give the Panthers organization-and whoever joins them-a greater chance to evaluate his prospects.

Cam Newton Considering Surgery

Ever since Panthers QB Cam Newton was forced to the sidelines with a Lisfranc injury after his team’s Week 2 loss to the Buccaneers, we heard that the star signal-caller would not undergo surgery. However, now that he has been placed on IR, that could change.

Ian Rapoport of NFL.com reports that Newton is indeed considering surgery to repair the injury, and the procedure could take place within the next two weeks. The maximum recovery period is three months, so Newton would be healed in plenty of time for the Panthers to fully consider all of their options with respect to their former No. 1 overall pick.

Rapoport says that a trade is the most likely outcome. Newton is due $18.6MM plus a $2MM option bonus in 2020, so if he is healthy, his contract is movable. Jason La Canfora of CBS Sports says that there will indeed be a trade market for Newton should Carolina choose to go that route, and La Canfora’s sources suggest that the Panthers could net a first-round pick for the 2015 MVP, or at least several early Day 2 selections.

Meanwhile, Kyle Allen, who has performed so admirably in Newton’s absence, has an interesting contract situation. Because Allen spent most of 2018 on the practice squad, he was cut off his rookie contract, which means he can receive an extension this offseason (a year earlier than most other players who entered the league in 2018). If the Panthers don’t choose to extend him — and if Allen doesn’t force the issue — they will be able to keep him under club control as an exclusive rights free agent in 2020 and 2021 and then as a restricted free agent in 2022.

La Canfora says team owner David Tepper fully appreciates the benefits of having a starting QB on an entry-level contract, so while the jury is still out on Allen, it will be interesting to see whether the club pursues a team-friendly extension after this season. That certainly sounds like a possibility, though Allen’s performance throughout the remainder of 2019 will obviously go a long way towards determining his future in Carolina.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

South Rumors: Panthers, Colts, Watt

Panthers quarterback Kyle Allen will get a chance to rebound from the worst start of his career. After a three-interception performance against the 49ers, Allen will make his sixth start of the season, Ron Rivera confirmed. Cam Newton will not return from his foot injury this week against the Titans. Instead, Newton will continue to rehab, according to David Newton of ESPN.com. Newton has been out since re-injuring his foot in Week 2 against the Buccaneers.

Here’s some other notes from the South:

  • J.J. Watt underwent a successful surgery on his torn pectoral muscle earlier Tuesday, according to James Palmer of NFL.com. Watt, who has consistently been one of the best players in football since entering the league in 2011, suffered a season-ending injury Sunday against the Raiders. Currently in prime playoff position, the Texans will have to make another push without Watt on the field. Houston did not have Watt for its 2016 playoff run.
  • Colts ownership has given Chris Ballard full autonomy in player personnel decisions, according to Stephen Holder of The Athletic (subscription required). Owner Jim Irsay encouraged the front office to pursue an unnamed linebacker in free agency, but did not force them to join a bidding war for a defender his football operations office did not deem worth a certain price tag. “I gave (Ballard) unfettered approval …” Irsay said, via Holder. “And he still backed out. He said, ‘They went to this number and, Jim, I just couldn’t.” This doesn’t necessarily name C.J. Mosley, but the Colts were interested in the ex-Ravens standout before the linebacker signed a record-setting contract with the Jets.
  • Although the Falcons have slipped well out of contention, Matt Ryan is set to return after their Week 9 bye.

Panthers To Start Kyle Allen In Week 8

Kyle Allen will make his fifth consecutive start for the Panthers next week. The second-year UDFA will get the call again when the Panthers face the 49ers in San Francisco, Ron Rivera said Monday, per The Athletic’s Jourdan Rodrigue (on Twitter).

It was believed unlikely that Cam Newton would return from his foot injury this week, but Rivera’s announcement ends any speculation. The ninth-year starter will, however, work out on a side field. The Panthers have not reached the quarterback-controversy stage of this process, with Newton not yet ready to return. But that day could be coming, and this week’s game will be telling for Allen’s progress (and the Panthers’ status as an NFC contender).

Facing the undefeated 49ers will be Allen’s greatest challenge since taking over under center. When Allen took over, the Panthers were 0-2 and looked likely to fall out of the playoff race. Instead, they have won four straight and are in prime position to fight for an NFC playoff spot.

In his four appearances this season, Allen has completed 65.6% of his passes for just over 225 yards a game. He has a 7-to-0 touchdown pass-to-interception ratio. Should Allen fare well against the 49ers, Rivera may have to make a tough decision. But the Panthers are not at that point yet.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.