Matt Paradis

Panthers, C Matt Paradis Rework Contract

After moving on from three players yesterday, the Panthers are continuing to open up cap space. ESPN’s Field Yates reports (via Twitter) that the team has reworked center Matt Paradis‘s contract. Specifically, the team converted $7.04MM of the veteran’s $8.03MM base salary into a signing bonus, opening up $4.69MM in cap space.

Following a five-year stint with the Broncos (including a 2015 campaign where he started all 16 games for the eventual Super Bowl champions), Paradis joined the Panthers on a three-year, $27MM contract in 2019. He’s started all 32 of the Panthers’ games since joining the organization, and he appeared in 100 percent of his team’s offensive snaps in 2020.

The Panthers made a handful of financial moves this week. On Tuesday, the team released defensive tackle Kawann Short, saving the team $8.6MM in space. Then yesterday, we learned the team was planning to cut safety Tre Boston ($3.5MM in savings), punter Michael Palardy ($1.9MM), and defensive end Stephen Weatherly ($5.9MM).

Carolina is now rolling with an estimated $31MM in cap space, and these recent moves have saved the team more than $24MM in space. As Michael David Smith of observes, that would be more than enough extra money to slide someone like, say, Deshaun Watson onto the roster. We learned earlier this week that the Panthers were planning on making a run at the Texans quarterback.

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Extra Points: McDowell, Broncos, Browns

Malik McDowell is still looking to play football again. The talented defensive lineman was taken by the Seahawks in the second round of the 2017 draft, but has never played a down in the NFL. An ATV accident before his rookie year resulted in serious injuries that up until this point have prevented him from playing. The Seahawks finally decided to move on and waived him earlier this month after he couldn’t gain clearance. He still wants to play however, and recently met with the Cowboys.

McDowell’s agent, Drew Rosenhaus, revealed today that McDowell had been cleared to play again by independent doctors (Twitter link via Calvin Watkins of The Athletic). However, the Cowboys’ team doctors have been unable to clear him yet. Clarence Hill Jr. of the Forth Worth Star-Telegram tweeted that Rosenhaus also said the Cowboys remain interested his client, but it sounds like there’s still a big medical hurdle to clear. It seems Dallas’ interest is legitimate, and if their doctors are able to clear him there’s a very good chance he’d sign. He was the 35th overall pick out of Michigan State for a reason, so if he’s ever able to get back on the field it could prove to be a great pickup.

Here’s more from around the league:

  • Center Matt Paradis left the Broncos this offseason, and signed a big deal with the Panthers. We heard shortly before he signed with Carolina that Denver was working to re-sign him, but that apparently wasn’t a realistic effort. The Broncos essentially lowballed Paradis, offering him a one-year “look-see” deal that they knew he wouldn’t accept, according to Mike Klis of Denver 9News. Despite the reported effort, it sounds like the Broncos never truly intended to retain Paradis, who got three years and $27MM from the Panthers.
  • Speaking of the Broncos, their ownership dispute could be inching toward a resolution. Brittany Bowlen, one of the daughters of owner Pat Bowlen vying to take over the team, will soon start a job in Denver’s front office, Broncos CEO Joe Ellis told Klis (Twitter link). There’s been a drawn out dramatic dispute playing out between members of the Bowlen family for a while now, and Brittany is believed to be the favorite of Broncos and league brass. Klis calls it a “potential huge step” toward her one day taking over the team.
  • We heard a couple of weeks ago that the Browns were shopping Emmanuel Ogbah, and that’s apparently still the case. Ogbah is still being shopped, a source told Tony Grossi of (Twitter link). Additionally, Grossi reports that “there’s a lot of interest” in the defensive end. Ogbah is still only 25 and on his rookie deal, so it makes sense that there’s legit interest. With Olivier Vernon now in the fold opposite Myles Garrett, the Browns don’t have much of a need for Ogbah.

East Notes: Cowboys, Crawford, Jets, Bills

The latest from the AFC and NFC East divisions:

  • Cowboys defensive lineman Tyrone Crawford was caught on camera brawling inside of a Florida bar, as TMZ details. The 6’4″, 280-pound lineman is shown fighting off four bouncers at once and holding his own. Then, the fight spilled outside, where Crawford got tangled up with multiple cops. Interestingly, Crawford was not arrested and has not been charged with a crime. However, the NFL might have something to say about the incident. After losing Randy Gregory and David Irving to indefinite bans, the Cowboys can ill afford to lose anyone else on the D-Line for the start of the 2019 season.
  • Center was a major need for the Jets this offseason, but they did not make offers to Mitch Morse or Matt Paradis, the top two centers in this year’s free agent class (via Manish Mehta of the Daily News). Instead, they re-upped Jonotthan Harrison on a two-year deal with the hope that he can compete with other versatile interior line additions to come. Brett Jones, who has drawn interest from the Jets and a quintet of other clubs, could be added to the mix.
  • Seahawks free agent Maurice Alexander, a longtime starter for the Rams, will visit the Bills on Thursday and Friday, a source tells’s Ian Rapoport (on Twitter).

Extra Points: Jets, Ravens, Draft

Some assorted notes from around the NFL…

  • The Jets were reportedly interested in free agent centers Mitch Morse and Matt Paradis, tweets Manish Mehta of the New York Daily News. However, the team never made an offer to either player. Morse ultimately signed with the Bills, while Paradis ended up inking a deal with the Panthers. With the Jets unable to secure either of the top two free agent centers, the front office continues to reach out to other veterans to gauge the market. Mehta notes that the draft could be another way of acquiring a center.
  • Ravens special teams coordinator Jerry Rosburg is retiring, the team announced. The 63-year-old had been with the organization since 2008, winning one Super Bowl championship along the way. Rosburg previously served in the same role with both the Falcons and Browns. Assistant Special Teams coach Chris Horton is expected to take over, with Rosburg briefly sticking around as a consultant. “I will stay on for a period of time to be a resource for Chris and anyone else during that transition,” said Rosburg. “I have a lot of plans. Me and my plans center around my family. I don’t want to miss as many hockey games and volleyball games as I have. Our days are limited on this earth, and there are some things that I’m missing I don’t want to miss anymore.”
  • Rashan Gary wasn’t active in Michigan’s pro day. According to’s Tom Pelissero (on Twitter), the potential top-five pick only weighed in and didn’t participate in any drills or testing. Instead, the running back stuck around to support his teammates. As Pelissero notes, the defensive tackle “crushed the combine,” and he didn’t want to risk his draft stock with a lackluster outing today.

Contract Details: Paradis, Saffold, Jackson, Packers

Following another busy day around the NFL, let’s check out some contract details:

Panthers To Sign C Matt Paradis

Former Broncos center Matt Paradis agreed to terms with the Panthers on a three-year deal worth $27.03MM, Ian Rapoport of tweets. The Panthers were not previously believed to be in the running for Paradis, but the free agent season is full of surprises.

The Panthers will guarantee Paradis $13.5MM, per’s Tom Pelissero (on Twitter). It’s a top-10 center pact.

Paradis drew interest from the Bills on Monday, but they preferred Mitch Morse, who is now the NFL’s highest-paid center. The Jets were also in on Paradis, and the Broncos had re-engaged in talks with their well-regarded starter Monday night.

But the Panthers came out of nowhere and will install the former sixth-round pick as Ryan Kalil‘s replacement. Kalil recently retired after 12 NFL seasons. Paradis is only four years younger than Kalil, despite coming into the league seven season later. He will turn 30 this year. But the older-than-usual first-time UFA was consistently viewed as one of the NFL’s best centers for the past three seasons.

Paradis had not missed a game until his fibula break ended his 2018 season in November. The Broncos authorized a right tackle-record contract for Ja’Wuan James on Monday night, so their ability to keep Paradis on a near-top-market deal became more difficult. The Panthers are getting Paradis for more than $2MM less than the Bills’ Morse deal, and with the veteran snapper moving along in his rehab, Carolina may not miss much of a beat from Kalil to Paradis.

The Broncos may now turn to Connor McGovern as their center. A guard to open last season, McGovern moved to the snapping role following Paradis’ injury.

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Broncos Looking To Re-Sign Matt Paradis

Free agent Matt Paradis is generating some interest on the open market, but a return to Denver still sounds like it’s in the cards.

Mike Klis of 9News in Denver reports (via Twitter) that the Broncos have restarted talks with the veteran center. However, Troy Renck of Denver7 adds that the 29-year-old snapper and the Broncos were not close in their talks earlier Monday evening.

We heard in late February that Denver was going to let Paradis hit the open market, and the Jets have been mentioned as one potential suitor for the 29-year-old. The five-year veteran is generally regarded as the top center on the market. Jason Kelce and Maurkice Pouncey recently increased the top of the center market to $11MM per year, meaning Paradis is in line for a lucrative payday.

As our own Sam Robinson wrote earlier today, given how teams have spent on offensive linemen in recent years, it is not out of the question that Paradis could exceed the deals received by Kelce and Pouncey. Ryan Jensen became the highest-paid center via 2018 free agency accord, and Paradis has a longer track record of success than Jensen. The Bills also made Mitch Morse the new highest-paid center earlier Monday, perhaps further raising Paradis’ asking price.

Having started every game with the Broncos since the start of the 2015 season, Paradis broke his fibula to end his 2018 season. But he is still likely to command a top-market contract, having been one of the NFL’s top centers since the 2016 season.

Klis tweets that the Broncos also restarted talks with offensive lineman Billy Turner today. However, it’s uncertain if the team still has interest in Turner following the signing of offensive tackle Ja’Wuan James.

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Bills To Sign Mitch Morse

The Bills just keep on rolling. After landing Frank Gore, Kevin Johnson, and Tyler Kroft, Buffalo is making another big move. Center Mitch Morse has agreed to terms with the Bills, according to Adam Schefter of (Twitter link).

This will come with a major pay raise. Morse is expected to receive a contract that will pay him more than $11MM on average, according to Mike Garafolo of (on Twitter). It’s a four-year deal, per’s Terez Paylor (on Twitter). This coming to fruition would make him the NFL’s highest-paid center.

Morse is coming to Buffalo from Kansas City, where he’s spent the past four seasons. The Chiefs took Morse in the second round of the 2015 draft, and he’s been a starter with them ever since. He hasn’t been able to stay healthy the past couple of seasons, which might’ve played into the Chiefs’ decision to let him walk.

Morse appeared in 11 games last year, and just seven the year before that. Morse has dealt with concussion and foot issues the past couple of seasons, but has been an effective player when on the field. In his 11 starts last season, he graded out as the 13th-best center in the league, according to Pro Football Focus’ metrics.

No terms of the deal have been announced at the moment, and it’ll be very interesting to see what Morse gets. The Bills have been very generous with their spending so far, so it’s safe to assume Morse got a fairly big contract. The Chiefs signed Austin Reiter to an extension back in December, and he could become the team’s full-time starting center if they don’t sign or draft anyone else.

Before signing Morse, the Bills were in on Broncos center Matt Paradis, a source told Ralph Vacchiano of SNY (Twitter link). Vacchiano thinks that could help the Jets’ chances of signing Paradis.

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Broncos Rumors: Amos, Barrett, Paradis, James

Here’s the latest on the Broncos, with all links going to Troy Renck of Denver7’s Twitter:

Jets Interested In Matt Paradis, Mitch Morse

Even after the Jets’ trade for Kelechi Osemele, they remain interested in improving their offensive line. Armed with the second-most cap space in the NFL, the Jets were expected to pursue multiple starters up front. Center appears to be a priority.

The Jets are interested in this year’s top center UFAs-to-be, with Manish Mehta of the New York Daily News reporting the team has Matt Paradis and Mitch Morse on its radar.

Spencer Long signed with the Jets last year, but he’s now with the Bills after underwhelming as a Jet. Paradis and Morse have longer track records of success, each being four-year starters. The Broncos appear set to let Paradis hit the market, despite their longtime starter profiling as their top free agent, and the Chiefs are likely to let Morse walk because of the major re-ups for other homegrown talents coming relatively soon.

Having started every game with the Broncos since the start of the 2015 season, Paradis broke his fibula to end his 2018 season. But he is still likely to command a top-market contract, having been one of the NFL’s top centers since the 2016 season.

The Eagles and Steelers recently raised the center ceiling, with extensions for Jason Kelce and Maurkice Pouncey moving the market to $11MM per year. Given how teams have spent on offensive linemen in recent years, it is not out of the question the 29-year-old Paradis could exceed that. Ryan Jensen became the highest-paid center via 2018 free agency accord, and Paradis has a longer track record of success.

Morse has battled injuries the past two years, missing 14 starts. But he has been a generally well-regarded center since arriving as a Chiefs second-round pick in 2015. Kansas City has extensions planned for Tyreek Hill and Chris Jones this offseason, having already begun talks with Hill, so players like Morse and Steven Nelson may be permitted to walk as free agents.

Additionally, the Jets are not planning to adjust Osemele’s contract, Mehta tweets. The eighth-year guard is scheduled to carry cap numbers of $10.2MM and $11.7MM in 2019 and ’20, respectively. The Jets will be able to afford these hits. No guaranteed money remains on Osemele’s deal.

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