Michael Palardy

AFC East Notes: Williams, Bills, Sauce, Jets

Mentioned as dangling Preston Williams in trades earlier this month, the Dolphins have not ruled out adding an asset for the young wide receiver. Williams is generating some trade interest, Aaron Wilson of ProFootballNetwork.com tweets, but this looks like a situation that will either produce a deal for a late-round pick or Williams being waived before rosters are finalized Tuesday. Teams have until 3pm CT tomorrow to cut to 53. The Dolphins made some adjustments at receiver this offseason, trading for Tyreek Hill and adding Cedrick Wilson Jr. The team already cut Mohamed Sanu on Monday, however, potentially keeping the door open for Williams to stick as a backup. Williams emerged as a key target for the skeleton-crew 2019 Dolphins edition, but his rookie-year ACL tear threw his career off course. He has just 359 receiving yards over the past two seasons.

Here is the latest from the AFC East:

  • In the wake of the Bills jettisoning embattled punter Matt Araiza, they have gotten to work on finding his replacement. Michael Palardy, Ty Long, Tyler Newsome and Joseph Charlton worked out for the team, Mike Garafolo of NFL.com tweets. None have been signed. Two of these punters, as it often goes with the Bills, have Panthers histories. Though, Palardy — a Carolina punter from 2016-19 — is the only one with ties to Buffalo’s Brandon BeaneSean McDermott duo. Charlton was Carolina’s punter in 2020, long after the Bills had hired Beane and McDermott. These workouts also came before two veteran punters — Brett Kern and Sam Martin — were informed of their respective releases by the Titans and Broncos. The Colts signed the punter the Bills recently waived (Matt Haack) last week.
  • Bills left tackle Dion Dawkins created some cap space for his team recently, restructuring his contract. Dawkins’ reworking created more than $5.6MM in space for the Bills, Tom Pelissero of NFL.com tweets. The Bills moved Dawkins’ 2022 base salary down to $1MM and added two void years to spread out his cap hits, per OverTheCap. Dawkins remains signed through 2024; the Bills hold just more than $11MM in cap space.
  • The Jets will not spend any regular-season time developing Sauce Gardner as a backup. The No. 4 overall pick will be a Week 1 starter, Robert Saleh said. Gardner’s expected ascent will move Bryce Hall to a backup role, with the Jets also having signed D.J. Reed in free agency.
  • Isaiah Wynn looks to remain available in trades for a Patriots team that has moved him to right tackle. Additionally, when Trent Brown re-signed with New England, he was not made aware the organization was planning to move him back to the left side.

Dolphins Sign P Michael Palardy

Michael Palardy has a new team. After getting released by the Panthers in February, the veteran punter has agreed to join up with the Dolphins (Twitter link via NFL.com’s Tom Pelissero). 

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.

P Michael Palardy To Visit Bills

Michael Palardy has secured his first reported visit since getting dumped by the Panthers last month. ESPN’s Adam Schefter reports (via Twitter) that the veteran punter will be visiting the Bills tomorrow.

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 Brandon Beane 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.

Panthers Release P Michael Palardy, DE Stephen Weatherly

In addition to jettisoning Tre Boston, the Panthers parted ways with two other contributors Friday. They released three-year punter Michael Palardy and 2020 defensive end starter Stephen Weatherly.

Together, these moves will create nearly $8MM in cap space for the Panthers. Combined with the releases of Boston and Kawann Short this 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.

Latest On Panthers’ COVID-19 Situation

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.

Carolina moved several big names — D.J. Moore, Curtis Samuel, Shaq Thompson, Derrick Brown and Greg Little — along with punter Michael Palardy, defensive tackle Zach Kerr and wide receiver Ishmael Hyman to their coronavirus list this week. At least two of these players will miss Sunday’s game against the Broncos, and the rest of the lot will at least miss some practice time this week. It is not yet certain which Panthers tested positive.

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.

Panthers P Michael Palardy Tears ACL

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.

Panthers, Palardy Agree To Extension

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.

Minor NFL Transactions: 4/17/18

Today’s minor moves:

Atlanta Falcons

Baltimore Ravens

Buffalo Bills

Carolina Panthers

Chicago Bears

Green Bay Packers

Los Angeles Rams

New York Jets

Seattle Seahawks

Minor NFL Transactions: 3/9/18

Here are today’s minor moves:

Arizona Cardinals

Carolina Panthers

Denver Broncos

Los Angeles Rams

 

Panthers Cut P Andy Lee

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. Andy Lee

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.