Kyle Allen

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.

Injury Updates: Green, Mahomes, Newton

It doesn’t look like A.J. Green is going anywhere. Despite Bengals head coach Zac Taylor insisting that the team would not trade its injured star prior to the October 29 deadline, there was still plenty of speculation that Cincinnati would make a deal if it got the right offer. But Adam Schefter of ESPN.com reports that Green, who returned to practice on a limited basis earlier this month, will not be ready to play until after the deadline.

Green is progressing nicely in his return, per Schefter, but the Bengals want to ensure a complete recovery before bringing him back, which makes it sound as though they have every intention of re-signing him this offseason (and, as Ben Baby of ESPN.com tweets, it’s an interesting contrast to the dispute between Cincinnati and Cordy Glenn). So if your team is looking for a WR upgrade, you can probably go ahead and scratch Green off your wish list.

Now for two more high-profile injury updates:

  • Ian Rapoport of NFLcom (video link) has positive news on Chiefs QB Patrick Mahomes. Per RapSheet, surgery (even in the offseason) has not been discussed, which contradicts a report from several days ago. Rapoport says Mahomes will miss at least the next three games, which means he will be sidelined for matchups against the Packers, Vikings, and Titans. Then, Kansas City travels to Mexico City for a game against the Chargers, and as Matt Miller of Bleacher Report observes, the field surface at Estadio Azteca could be questionable (Twitter link). The Chiefs have a bye after their sojourn across the border, so, in keeping with the earlier reports, it seems like a Week 13 return against the Raiders is the safest bet. Schefter says Mahomes could be back even sooner than the three-week minimum that Rapoport detailed, though that would seem like a very risk move on the Chiefs’ part. Luckily, Herbie Teope of the Kansas City Star tweets that Mahomes’ visit for a second opinion went well, though Teope does not offer a timeline for the star QB’s return.
  • The Panthers are perfectly content for Cam Newton to take as much time as necessary to recover from his foot injury given that the club is 4-0 under backup Kyle Allen. Carolina is on a bye this week, and Newton is expected to return to the practice field in the coming days, but Jason La Canfora of CBS Sports says the team has not yet begun to discuss the QB situation, even privately. That means that, as long as Allen keeps performing, he may keep playing, which is consistent with reports from last week. In any event, the Panthers will not address the issue until Newton is back to 100%.

Kyle Allen May Remain Panthers’ Starting QB

There is still no definitive word as to when Panthers QB Cam Newton, who is dealing with a Lisfranc injury in his left foot, might return to the field. The public has assumed that Newton will be back after the team’s bye next week, but Ian Rapoport of NFL.com says that isn’t necessarily the case.

After all, Carolina has rattled off three straight wins with Newton’s backup, 23-year-old Kyle Allen, under center. Although Allen hasn’t been brilliant since his Week 3 performance against the Cardinals, he has been plenty good enough, and if the team should beat the Buccaneers in London today, it will be very difficult for the Panthers to switch right back to Newton.

Of course, no decision is going to be made before Newton is completely healthy. But a team source told Rapoport that, if the Panthers defeat the Bucs, Allen will remain the starter. If Tampa Bay wins, then that could pave the way for Newton to take his job back after the bye week.

Jason La Canfora of CBS Sports says that, regardless of the outcome of today’s contest over the pond, Allen will remain the starter for at least the Panthers’ Week 8 matchup against the 49ers, and perhaps for the club’s Week 9 game versus the Titans. If Carolina and/or Allen should falter over the next several weeks, and if Newton has made a full recovery, then it would not be difficult for head coach Ron Rivera to turn the reins back over to the former No. 1 overall pick. But if Allen and the Panthers continue to play well, the former UDFA might continue to hear his number called.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Extra Points: Newton, Barkley, Edelman

The Panthers’ season got off to a disastrous start, as the team limped out to an 0-2 record and Cam Newton re-injured himself. It looked like they were quickly circling the drain, and then Kyle Allen happened. Allen was nearly perfect starting in place of Newton, averaging ten yards per attempt and tossing four touchdowns while leading Carolina to a road win over Arizona. Allen’s performance was so strong, that it sparked some talk of a potential quarterback controversy.

Speaking after the game Panthers head coach Ron Rivera said the starting job is still Newton’s when he’s healthy but that right now they’re “rolling” with Allen, per Joseph Person of The Athletic (Twitter link). Newton won’t be getting benched, but Rivera’s comments don’t exactly inspire confidence that he’ll be back soon. Newton aggravated a foot injury he suffered during the preseason, and his throwing shoulder which he underwent surgery on this offseason hasn’t looked 100 percent either. It’ll be very interesting too see what happens next, but with Allen’s emergence it appears Carolina’s quarterback situation isn’t as dire as it originally seemed.

Here’s more from around the league:

  • We’ve heard that Giants running back Saquon Barkley has suffered a high ankle sprain and is going to miss some time, and now we have Barkley’s thoughts on his injury. “I’m not out for the season,” Barkley said, via Matt Lombardo of NJ.com. “I’m going to do whatever I can to get back as quickly as possible.” Barkley told Jordan Ranaan of ESPN.com that he had a high ankle sprain his freshman year at Penn State, and that he only missed two games with that injury (Twitter link). Right now two missed games would probably be a best-case scenario.
  • Patriots receiver Julian Edelman was knocked out of New England’s win over the Jets with a rib injury, but fortunately it doesn’t seem too serious. X-Rays on his ribs were negative, sources told Ian Rapoport of NFL Network (Twitter link). Rapoport writes that it’s an “early positive sign,” which would seem to suggest he isn’t completely out of the woods yet. In the wake of Antonio Brown‘s release, the Patriots’ receiving corp would suddenly go from loaded to a bit thin if Edelman has to miss any time.
  • In case you missed it, Redskins tight end Jordan Reed‘s career is in doubt.

QB Notes: Cam, Dak, Teddy, Eli, Siemian

Kyle Allen is trending toward starting for the Panthers this week, as Cam Newton missed practice Wednesday while he recovers from a foot injury, according to NFL Network’s Ian Rapoport. After Carolina’s loss to Tampa Bay last week, Newton complained of foot pain and it was expected that he would miss some game time. After initially suffering the injury during the preseason, and then aggravating it last week, it would seem wise for Carolina to let the former MVP fully heal before taking the field again.

In the interim, Allen would be the starter for the foreseeable future and would be set to face former college teammate Kyler Murray this Sunday when they take on the Cardinals. In his lone career start last year, a win against the Saints, Allen played well, completing 16 of 27 passes for 228 yards and two touchdowns.

Let’s take a look at some other quarterback notes from around the NFL:

  • A week ago, Jerry Jones said a deal for Dak Prescott was “imminent,” but a few days later acknowledged just because he thinks it is imminent doesn’t mean the quarterback does, according to ESPN’s Todd Archer. After the Cowboys‘ win in Washington, Jones continued to display his belief a deal will get done. “I have no hesitation about it. I’m very comfortable. He’s very comfortable,” Jones said. “The way it is, he’s very comfortable. Those are things we re-emphasize a timeframe in anything that requires two people … and I’m not trying to be talking riddles here. Certainly from the standpoint of where we’ve been from talking about, his business, talking about the Cowboys’ business, we have a lot of water under the bridge.” Many expect a deal to get done between the Cowboys and Prescott at some point this season.
  • With Drew Brees expected to miss the next six weeks due to a thumb injury, the Saints will rely on Teddy Bridgewater to carry the load and run the offense. Interestingly, there are also some financial incentives tied to Bridgewater making starts for the Saints in the wake of Brees’ injury. Bridgewater can earn up to $5.25MM in incentives, while also getting $2.5MM if he plays 50% of the offensive snaps and they make the playoffs, according to NFL Network’s Tom Pelissero.
  • After undergoing an MRI on Tuesday, Adam Gase informed the media that Trevor Siemian would unsurprisingly be out for the season, with an MRI revealing torn ligaments. After the swelling goes down, Siemian is expected to have surgery, according to Rapoport. In the interim, Luke Falk is penciled in as the Jets’ starter until starter Sam Darnold returns from mono, which could be as soon as Week 5 against the Eagles.
  • After being benched by the Giants for rookie Daniel Jones, Eli Manning said today that that he was “obviously disappointed, not happy”, but still intends to finish this season and support Jones. It remains to be seen if Manning finishes the season with the only NFL franchise he’s known. However, if any of the quarterback-needy teams were to try and trade for Manning, they would have to take on a hefty amount of salary. Manning is making $17MM this year, with $5.5MM (roster/workout bonuses) having already been paid out, costing any team $676k a week (base salary), according to Sports Illustrated’s Albert Breer.