Mitchell has been out of the mix for the Jets since suffering a dislocated knee early last month. Although Mitchell was carted off the field because of that injury, he appears on track to come back. The Jets also have George Fant on IR, but he has not yet been designated for return. The Jets have used Duane Brown and journeyman Cedric Ogbuehi at tackle over the past two games. Gang Green has six injury activations remaining.
The Giants four activations left. A 2021 sixth-round pick, Williams ran into a bone-spur issue during training camp. The Giants claimed Layne off waivers from the Steelers after cutdown day. The former third-round pick has worked on special teams throughout the season.
4:08pm: Testing revealed Jackson suffered an Achilles tear, Ian Rapoport of NFL.com tweets. This will shut down the veteran cornerback until well into Carolina’s 2023 offseason program, if not training camp.
10:53am: The Panthers came out of last night’s game against the Falcons with a victory, but they lost a significant member of their secondary in the process. Cornerback Donte Jacksonexited the game with an Achilles injury, per Joe Person of the Athletic (Twitter link).
That points to a serious, if not season-ending, injury for the 27-year-old. Jackson had been enjoying another productive campaign in 2022, his fifth with the Panthers. The former second-rounder started all nine games this season, recording a pair of interceptions (including a pick-six) and 35 tackles.
A groin injury ended Jackson’s 2021 campaign in November. That limited him to 12 games last season, continuing a trend of short-term absences. The LSU alum has played every game in a season just once, his rookie year in 2018. The groin issue came as he was approaching free agency, and led some to wonder if he would head elsewhere this past offseason.
Instead, he signed a three-year deal to stay in Charlotte. That allowed him to continue his time with his only NFL team, and build off of the 12 interceptions and 38 pass breakups he had amassed to that point. That consistent production made him a trade target in the build-up to last week’s deadline, but the Panthers’ asking price was too high for a deal to be finalized.
While Jackson will be missed on the backend of Carolina’s defense, the team has made significant investments in the position in recent years. That includes 2021 first-rounder Jaycee Horn, who has been a full-time starter this year, and the trade acquisition of C.J. Henderson last season. A fellow first-rounder himself, the former Jaguar has seen an uptick in usage in 2022 compared to his time with the team last season. His 56% snap share figures to increase in the wake of Jackson’s absence.
Last night’s win moved the Panthers to 3-7 on the year, keeping them within striking distance of the NFC South lead. A string of sustained defensive performances will be harder now, however, with Jackson being sidelined.
The trade deadline passed on Tuesday, but reports of near-deals and trade talks featuring high-profile players continue to trickle in. Though the NFL trade deadline may never produce the anticipation that the MLB deadline seems to generate, NFL front offices are increasingly amenable to making deals, and this year’s deadline day brought with it 10 trades and 12 players changing teams, both league records. As Field Yates of ESPN.com tweets, that type of activity is wildly popular among fans and therefore good for business, and Yates’ ESPN colleague, Adam Schefter, says multiple clubs have reached out to the league office this week to discuss the possibility of moving future deadlines to later dates.
In 2012, the league pushed the deadline back two weeks, from the Tuesday after Week 6 to the Tuesday after Week 8. Another move could see the deadline moved to sometime after Week 10 or Week 12, which would presumably produce even more trades. The idea is that, the later the deadline, the more clarity teams will have with respect to their status as a playoff contender, which will lead to more trade activity. Schefter hears that the issue will be raised at the general manager committee meetings later this month.
Now for more fallout and other notes from this year’s deadline extravaganza:
It was indeed the Rams who were willing to trade two first-round picks to the Panthers in exchange for DE Brian Burns, as Jones writes in a separate piece. Confirming prior reports, Jones says Los Angeles offered its 2024 and 2025 first-round selections — the team is without a 2023 first-round pick to due to last year’s Matthew Stafford trade — and he adds that the club also included a 2023 second-round choice in its final proposal. Carolina gave serious consideration to the offer, but it ultimately elected to hold onto Burns, which will increase the player’s leverage in offseason extension talks. Per Jones, Burns is likely to land a deal that far exceeds the $110MM pact that the Dolphins recently authorized for their own deadline acquisition, Bradley Chubb.
Speaking of the Panthers, we learned earlier today that the club also turned down a first-round pick for Moore. The Panthers’ reticence to trade its young talent (aside from Christian McCaffrey, of course) was on full display at the deadline, and while the decisions to retain Moore and Burns were certainly defensible, every executive with whom Jason La Canfora of the Washington Post spoke was shocked that the club did not pull the trigger on Burns. “I can’t believe they turned [the Rams’ offer] down. Now they almost have to pay him whatever he wants because everyone knows they turned down two [first-round picks] for him,” one GM said. Apparently, cornerback Donte Jackson also drew some trade interest, though another GM said the Panthers were asking too much for him as well.
Bears head coach Matt Eberflus acknowledged that one of the reasons his team traded linebacker Roquan Smith is because of Smith’s lack of ball production relative to his peers, particularly the peers who have contracts that Smith wants to top, as Kevin Fishbain of The Athletic writes (subscription required). Compared to fellow 2018 draftee and three-time First Team All-Pro Shaquille Leonard, for instance, Smith has five fewer interceptions (seven), 16 fewer forced fumbles (one), and six fewer fumble recoveries (one) over the course of his career.
The Lions‘ trade of Hockenson will naturally create more playing time for second-year pro Brock Wright — who is expected to step into the starting TE role — and fifth-round rookie James Mitchell, as Tim Twentyman of the team’s official website notes. Mitchell, who is still strengthening and rehabbing the torn ACL he suffered as a collegian at Virginia Tech in 2021, has played just 21 offensive snaps this season but offers big-play upside at the tight end position.
Rounding up a few contract details from recent deals:
Donte Jackson, CB (Panthers): Three-year, $35.18MM. The contract, according to Aaron Wilson of Pro Football Network, has a guaranteed amount of $16.76MM consisting of an $11MM signing bonus and the first two years’ base salary of $1.04MM in 2022 and $4.72MM in 2023. On the third league day of the 2023 and 2024 seasons, Jackson would be due $4MM roster bonuses. The deal also includes a per game active bonus of $100,000 that can earn him up to $1.7MM per season.
Al-Quadin Muhammad, DE (Bears): Two-year, $8MM. The contract has a guaranteed amount of $3.3MM consisting of a $1MM signing bonus, the first year’s base salary of $1.5MM, and the first year’s roster bonus of $800,000. Muhammad would be due an identical roster bonus on the third league day of 2023. He also has a per game active bonus of $35,294 for a potential season total of $600,000.
Uchenna Nwosu, DE (Seahawks): Two-year, $19.06MM. The contract has a guaranteed amount of $10.54MM consisting of a signing bonus of $9.5MM and the first year’s base salary of $1.04 MM. The second year’s base salary jumps to $7.5MM. The deal includes a per game active bonus of $30,000 for a potential season total of $510,000.
The Panthers are keeping a key member of their 2021 defense. Carolina is re-signing cornerback Donte Jackson reports, ProFootballFocus.com’s Doug Kyed (via Twitter).
NFL Network’s Tom Pelissero reports (on Twitter) that it’s a three-year deal for the defensive back. The three-year pact is worth $35.1MM, according to NFL Network’s Ian Rapoport (on Twitter).
Jackson’s 2021 campaign ended early thanks to a groin injury, but he still managed to have one of the best seasons of his career despite starting only 12 games. The cornerback finished this past season with 61 tackles, 10 passes defended, and two interceptions. The 2018 second-round pick has spent his entire career with the Panthers, collecting 12 interceptions in 55 games (51 starts).
The Panthers secondary had a handful of big-name free agents, but the team made it clear that they were prioritizing Jackson. The club has not shut the door on a new contract for CB Stephon Gilmore, but the front office was naturally focused on retaining Jackson, who is five years younger than Gilmore. Jackson also generated some interest from the Jets before they signed D.J. Reed.
After bypassing a dire need at cornerback last year, the Jets are diving in early. They are signing D.J. Reed, according to NFL.com’s Tom Pelissero (on Twitter).
Reed will come over from the Seahawks — on a three-year deal worth $33MM (including $21MM guaranteed, per Jordan Schultz on Twitter) — but has experience with Robert Saleh. The 49ers drafted Reed in the 2018 fifth round. He played two seasons in San Francisco, providing some system intel as he rejoins Saleh in New York.
A torn pectoral muscle sustained in early August 2020 led Reed from the Bay Area to the Pacific Northwest. The 49ers waived Reed with an injury designation, and the Seahawks claimed him. Reed elevated his profile in Seattle, starting 22 games over the past two seasons in a similar defensive system to the one Saleh deployed with the 49ers. The 5-foot-9 corner intercepted four passes during his Seahawks stay and allowed a career-low 67.8 passer rating when targeted last season.
The Seahawks hoped to re-sign Reed, Jeremy Fowler of ESPN.com tweets, but did not want to go to the $11MM-per-year level to do so. Gang Green also had Darious Williams and Donte Jackson on its radar, but Rich Cimini of ESPN.com adds Stephon Gilmore was not (Twitter link).
As of now, Reed stands to step in as the Jets’ No. 1 cornerback. They used Bryce Hall and Brandin Echols as their primary starters last season, one in which Saleh’s defense ranked 32nd in both points and yards allowed.
As Joseph Person of The Athletic (subscription required) writes, the Panthers are likely to part ways with center Matt Paradis, who is eligible for free agency. Pat Elflein, who opened the 2021 season as Carolina’s left guard but who moved over to center following Paradis’ injury, is likely to continue as the starting pivot despite his struggles in that role.
Paradis, 32, signed a three-year, $27MM contract with the Panthers in March 2019, and he started every game for the club from Week 1 of the 2019 season through Week 9 of the 2021 campaign. Unfortunately, a torn ACL suffered in that Week 9 contest ended his walk year prematurely, and it leaves him in a less-than-desirable position as he hits the open market for the second time in his career (interestingly, when he hooked on with the Panthers in 2019, he was coming off a serious leg injury that he sustained in November 2018, which may have limited his earnings then in the same way that his recent ACL tear will limit his earnings now).
Still, given his track record as a solid starter and the fact that he has been quite durable except when he’s playing out a contract year, he should garner a fair amount of attention from teams in need of a center. The Bengals, Jets, and Jaguars are all rumored to be interested in Bucs center Ryan Jensen, and Tampa Bay wants to retain its four-year starter. The losers of the Jensen sweepstakes could turn to Paradis, and the Ravens, who may be unable to afford a new contract for Bradley Bozeman, could also be in play.
The Panthers, meanwhile, will have plenty of work to do on the O-line. Luckily for them, this year’s college class is deep at the LT position, and Carolina could net a high-quality prospect even if it trades down from its No. 6 overall selection. In a separate piece (subscription required), Person opines that the Panthers will not be in the market for a high-priced free agent like longtime division-rival Terron Armstead, so the draft would be the place to nab a blindside blocker. Person does expect the team to sign a free agent guard, and while Brandon Scherff and Laken Tomlinson may be too pricey, old friend Andrew Norwell or Bears OL James Daniels could be viable targets.
In related news, Person says the Panthers do want edge defender Haason Reddick back, but only if the price is right. We recently heard that Reddick is likely to test the open market for the second year in a row. And while the club has not shut the door on a new contract for CB Stephon Gilmore, Person hears that the team is prioritizing a deal with fellow corner Donte Jackson, who is five years younger than Gilmore (both players are also eligible for free agency). GM Scott Fitterer is also doing his due diligence on available safeties.
November 30th, 2021 at 11:12am CST by Adam La Rose
Cornerback Donte Jackson has been placed on injured reserve, per a club announcement. Jackson suffered a groin injury in Sunday’s loss to the Dolphins and will miss the remainder of the season.
Jackson had been a key piece in the Panthers secondary, serving as a team captain and recording 61 tackles, two interceptions and one forced fumble.
Without Jackson, Carolina will need to lean more on recently-acquired cornersC.J. Hendersonand Stephon Gilmore. They’ll also look to add another CB for depth, to join fifth-round rookie Keith Taylor Jr. and veteran Rashaan Melvin. In the meantime, his roster spot will be filled by guard Deonte Brown, who is returning from a knee injury.
Jackson, a 2018 second-round pick, has spent his entire pro career with the Panthers, but it’s possible that he’s played his last snap for them. The 26-year-old will be eligible for free agency in March, after the expiration of his rookie contract.
August 14th, 2018 at 9:46pm CST by Dallas Robinson
The Broncos have a new backup quarterback, as head coach Vance Joseph told reporters Chad Kelly is now the club’s top reserve to starter Case Keenum (Twitter link via Nicki Jhabvala of The Athletic). Former first-round pick Paxton Lynch continued his abysmal NFL run by completing just 6-of-11 passes for 24 yards and one interception during Denver’s first preseason games, while Kelly — the 2017 drat’s Mr. Irrelevant — completed 14-of-21 attempts for 177 yards, two scores, and one interception. Clearly, the Broncos’ decision isn’t solely based on the results of a single exhibition contest, as Lynch also played poorly in two starts last season. Given Kelly’s inexperience, and Lynch’s lack of results, Denver could conceivably aim to acquire a veteran No. 2 signal-caller before the 2018 season gets underway.
Panthers rookie cornerback Donte Jackson has given head coach Ron Rivera a comfort level in the secondary he hasn’t had in two-to-three years, per Joe Person of the Charlotte Observer (Twitter link). Jackson, the 55th overall selection earlier this year, stands 5’11”, 175 pounds, so he was pegged as a slot-only corner as he entered the NFL. However, Carolina has been adamant that Jackson will get an opportunity on the outside, and it’s possible the LSU product will start in Week 1. In fact, after fellow corner Ross Cockrell suffered a season-ending injury, Jackson may be the favorite to play alongside James Bradberry.
Free agent cornerback Julian Wilson worked out for the Titans on Sunday, tweets Aaron Wilson of the Houston Chronicle. Wilson, 26, went undrafted out of Oklahoma in 2015 before landing a contract with the Ravens. A broken leg ended his rookie season during minicamp, and Wilson subsequently spent time on the Chiefs and Vikings practice squads during the 2016 campaign. A futures deal with the Chiefs in 2017 never led to a serious look, so Wilson signed on with the Calgary Stampeders of the Canadian Football League during the regular season. If signed by Tennessee, Wilson would compete for time on special teams.
Although Patrick Peterson expects Sam Bradford to start the season as the Cardinals‘ quarterback, what he saw early this offseason from Josh Rosen may make that a short-lived arrangement. Peterson said the first-round pick “blew my mind” with the football IQ he was known for challenging coaches with at UCLA.
“Just to see him run hurry-up offense, to see him make all different checks, to see him put guys in position, I was completely stunned when I saw it,” Peterson said, via Josh Weinfuss of ESPN.com. “I was like, ‘This guy’s only been here a week, and he’s already doing what? We’re already running two-minute offense now?‘
“I was very, very impressed with that, and he’s definitely the future of our franchise.”
While this praise tops Steve Wilks‘ a bit, it’s consistent with what the first-year Cards coach described about the No. 10 overall pick. Bradford has not been given the Cards’ starting job yet, and he’ll have to show the Cardinals — who slow-played his offseason work due to the major injury concerns attached to the former Heisman Trophy winner — he can stay healthy. An injury-free preseason will likely have Bradford at the controls come Week 1. But the Rosen era appears imminent.
Shifting to another rookie’s standing, here’s what’s new out of the NFC on Friday night.
Daryl Worley‘s release leaves the Panthers somewhat vulnerable at cornerback. That hasn’t been an uncertain spot since Josh Norman‘s departure, but David Newton of ESPN.com expects second-round pick Donte Jackson to emerge as the starter opposite James Bradberry. “You see it on the field. You see it when you talk to him,” Ron Rivera said regarding Jackson. “You watch in his gait, the way he carries himself. That’s the type of attitude you have to have to play this game. You have to have a certain kind of swagger.” Ross Cockrell, Kevon Seymour and perhaps slot man Captain Munnerlyn figure to factor into the Panthers’ competition here as well.
Speaking of Carolina competitions, Colin Jones has a good shot to start at safety despite his presence as a career special-teamer. The Panthers are counting on the 30-year-old Jones to play opposite 37-year-old Mike Adams, per Michael Middlehurst-Schwartz of USA Today. Carolina, though, signed Da’Norris Searcy and drafted Rashaan Gaulden in the third round, so it would appear Jones may stand to be a stopgap solution. He played 213 defensive snaps last season but only has 13 starts in seven NFL seasons.
49ers defensive ends Arik Armstead and Solomon Thomas are switching positions, per Nick Wagoner of ESPN.com, with the 2017 No. 3 overall pick moving to the “Leo” end spot reserved for the best outside pass rusher in San Francisco’s 4-3 scheme. Thomas played some at this position last season, but Armstead resided there at the outset of the 49ers’ most recent campaign. Armstead being a former defensive tackle makes him a more obvious fit as the “big” end, and the ex-Oregon product has put on weight this offseason to play that role. The 49ers still hope to have Thomas (three sacks as a rookie) shift inside at times on passing downs, though both would profile as players who could join DeForest Buckner inside in sub-packages.