Palardy started out as a journeyman, but grabbed the Panthers’ full-time punting job in 2017. He missed all of 2020 with an ACL tear, but he’s said to be healthy after seven months of post-surgery rehab. The Bills — featuring old friend Brandon Beane — hosted him on his first visit. Instead, he’ll see the Bills twice this year.
With Palardy on board, it’s likely that incumbent Matt Haack will be headed elsewhere. Haack is out of contract, so he’ll be free to sign with any team starting next week.
After bouncing around the league a bit to start his career, Palardy joined the Panthers back in 2016. He took on the full-time role in 2017, and he proceeded to appear in every game for Carolina over the next three years. However, the 28-year-old tore his ACL during the offseason, forcing him to miss the entire 2020 campaign. With one year remaining on his three-year, $7.52MM deal, the Panthers decided to save some cash and move on from the punter back in February.
Schefter notes that the punter is seven months removed from surgery and is expected to be ready for the regular season. Considering Palardy’s pedigree, it’s not a huge surprise that he’s already garnering interest from around the league. Plus, Bills GM BrandonBeane was in Carolina when the team initially signed the punter, so there’s some familiarity from that standpoint.
On the flip side, the Bills seemingly have a solution at punter in Corey Bojorquez. The 2018 undrafted free agent out of New Mexico has appeared in every game for Buffalo over the past two seasons, and despite the Bills finishing with a league-low 41 punters, Bojorquez managed to lead the NFL in average punt yardage (50.8). Bojorquez is set to hit restricted free agency this offseason, so the Bills are likely exploring their options before fully committing to the 24-year-old.
Together, these moves will create nearly $8MM in cap space for the Panthers. Combined with the releases of Boston and Kawann Shortthis week, the franchise will save around $16.4MM. Both Palardy and Weatherly were released with failed-physical designations, Aaron Wilson of the Houston Chronicle tweets.
The Panthers signed Palardy midway through the 2016 season, picking him up after placing previous punter Andy Lee on IR. Carolina kept Palardy around for the next three seasons, doing so via three-year, $7.52MM extension. One season remained on that deal. Palardy, 28, suffered a torn ACL last summer, leading the Panthers to use rookie UDFA Joseph Charlton as their punter.
Weatherly, 26, inked a two-year, $12.5MM deal with the Panthers last March and opened the season as the team’s defensive end starter opposite Brian Burns. Weatherly suffered a finger injury that required surgery, sending him to IR after nine games. The Panthers then turned to second-round pick Yetur Gross-Matos. Both Burns and Gross-Matos can be controlled through the 2023 season on their rookie contracts.
A seventh-round Vikings pick in 2016, Weatherly has managed to stick around beyond his rookie deal. He recorded six sacks between the 2018 and ’19 seasons and replaced Mario Addison as a Panthers starter last year. The Vanderbilt product did not register a sack with the Panthers, however.
December 11th, 2020 at 12:23pm CST by Sam Robinson
Dec. 11: Good news for Carolina, as Samuel, Thompson, and Brown have all been activated from the reserve/COVID-19 list and were back at practice today. They will all be available for the club’s tilt with the Broncos on Sunday.
Dec. 8: The Panthers are now a team to monitor regarding COVID-19. They placed eight players on their reserve/COVID-19 list this week, after two tested positive, Adam Schefter of ESPN.com tweets.
While this is certainly an issue, the Panthers do not appear to have the makings of an outbreak. They reported no new positive COVID-19 tests Tuesday, according to NFL.com’s Tom Pelissero (on Twitter). The Panthers closed their facility after the positive tests but are scheduled to reopen it Wednesday.
Carolina will host Denver on Sunday. The Broncos saw their bye rescheduled at the 11th hour earlier this season, when the Patriots encountered positive tests. With no teams having more byes, after the Panthers and Buccaneers concluded theirs in Week 13, the NFL’s options would be limited. However, as the recent Ravens outbreak showed, the league will pull out all the stops to ensure games are now played in their scheduled week.
The Panthers will make a change at punter this season. They have placed Michael Palardy on their reserve/non-football injury list. This will end his season.
This comes after Palardy, Carolina’s punter since 2016, suffered a torn ACL while training independently this summer, Tom Pelissero of NFL.com tweets. The tear is in Palardy’s left leg, his kicking leg. While the five-year veteran hoped to kick through this, Pelissero adds surgery is now on tap.
Palardy has been the Panthers’ full-time punter since the start of the 2017 season. The franchise signed him in 2016, when he kicked in seven games for the then-defending NFC champions. Palardy has twice averaged 46 yards per punt, doing so in 2017 and ’19. He ranked 13th in this category last season.
The Panthers may well add a veteran leg to compete with rookie UDFA Joseph Charlton, who operated as South Carolina’s punter for the past three seasons.
The Panthers are signing punter Michael Palardy to a three-year, $7.52MM contract extension, a source tells Tom Pelissero of NFL.com (on Twitter). The new deal keeps Palardy in place through 2021 and puts him in the top ten of punter compensation.
The deal, which includes a $2MM signing bonus, represents a big step up for Palardy. The punter was released by seven different teams before making his debut in 2016, so he’s undoubtedly appreciative of the new pact.
Palardy, 26, joined the Panthers in 2016 after Andy Lee was lost to injury. He has a career net average of 41.1 yards per boot and set the Panthers’ franchise record for single season net punting average last year.
September 2nd, 2017 at 9:32am CST by Zachary Links
The Panthers have cut punter Andy Lee, Joe Person of the Charlotte Observer tweets. That means they’ll be keeping Michael Palardy as their punter for the coming season.
The Panthers tried to orchestrate a trade for Lee this week, but it was to no avail. This time last year, the Panthers gave up a fourth-round choice to acquire him from the Browns. When he was dangled, the Cardinals expressed some level of interest, but it sounds like the Panthers could not extract anything of value from them. The Cardinals seem like a prime candidate to sign the veteran now that he’s a free agent.
The Panthers already paid $1MM to Lee in March and they’re still on the hook for his $1MM fully guaranteed base salary, so the punter will be on the books for $2MM in all, as Adam Caplan of ESPN.com tweets. It’s not a good look for Carolina, but the “new” regime did not want to saddle themselves with Dave Gettleman‘s mistake.
Lee, 35, had a perfect attendance record in the regular season through ten seasons before a hamstring injury sidelined him in 2016. For his career, he has three Pro Bowl nods and three first-team All-Pro selections.
Raiders defensive end Denico Autry has signed his RFA tender, reports ESPN’s Adam Caplan (Twitter link). The Raiders gave the 2014 undrafted free agent an original-round tender, leading to speculation that he could draw interest from elsewhere. Instead, Autry will return to the Raiders on the heels of back-to-back three-sack seasons. ERFAs Seth Roberts (WR) and Denver Kirkland (G) are also back in the fold, according to Michael Gehlken of the Las Vegas Review-Journal (on Twitter).
The Seahawks have re-signed linebacker Kache Palacio, writes Bob Condotta of the Seattle Times. Palacio, a former fullback who went undrafted out of Washington State last year, spent most of 2016 on Seattle’s practice squad.
Steelers RFA cornerback Ross Cockrell has inked his original-round tender, reports ESPN’s Adam Schefter (Twitter link). Cockrell went in the fourth round of the 2014 draft, so the Steelers would have been entitled to a fourth-rounder had Cockrell signed elsewhere and they elected against matching the offer. The 25-year-old caught on with the Steelers in 2015 and has since totaled 31 appearances, 23 starts and two interceptions. Cockrell started in every Steelers game last year, and his performance ranked an improve 28th among 111 qualified corners at PFF.
Chiefs RFA kicker Cairo Santos has signed his tender, per Schefter (on Twitter). Santos, undrafted in 2014, received a low tender; as such, Kansas City wouldn’t have been entitled to compensation had he gone elsewhere. The three-year veteran has connected on 84.3 percent of field goal attempts, including 88.6 percent last season (good for fifth in the league).
Lions offensive tackle Cornelius Lucas has signed his RFA tender, tweets Dave Birkett of the Detroit Free Press. The Lions assigned Lucas an original-rounder tender last month, so they wouldn’t have gotten a pick had the 2014 undrafted free agent signed elsewhere and they chose not to match. Lucas is now slated to make $1.797MM this year in Detroit, where he has started in six of 35 career appearances.
RFA defensive back Marcus Burley and ERFA running back George Atkinson III are returning to the Browns, per a team announcement. Burley, undrafted in 2013, received an original-round tender. The former Seahawk is coming off his first year in Cleveland, where he appeared in 12 games and played just under 40 percent of the Browns’ special teams snaps.
Fullback Tommy Bohanon and receiver Larry Pinkard have signed with the Jaguars, tweets the team’s account. Bohanon is the only with NFL experience, having logged 36 appearances and 14 starts as a Jet from 2013-15.
Speaking of the Jets, they have re-signed linebacker Julian Stanford (via Randy Lange of the team’s site). The Jets could Stanford on Friday, but both sides knew that was only a procedural move. Last season was the first as a Jet for the 26-year-old Stanford, who appeared in nine games (two starts) and played about a quarter of their defensive snaps and a third of their special teams snaps.