Chargers Rumors

Panthers To Audition Washington QB Kevin Thomson

Washington quarterback Kevin Thomson will join the Panthers for their rookie minicamp next week, as NFL.com’s Tom Pelissero tweets. Thomson, who had previous stops at UNLV and Sacramento State, opted to turn pro this year over an eighth year of college eligibility.

Thomson, who turns 26 in September, was on track to win the Huskies’ starting job in 2020. Instead, an undisclosed injury (believed to be his ribs) sidelined him to start the year. It was familiar territory for Thomson, who battled through back issues and other maladies throughout his collegiate career.

After that, redshirt freshman Dylan Morris held on to the job for the rest of the pandemic-shortened slate. Thomson went undrafted as a result, but the Panthers quickly reached out on Day 3. Now older than Patrick Mahomes, he’ll fight for a spot on the Panthers’ depth chart behind Sam Darnold, P.J. Walker, Will Grier, and Tommy Stevens.

When I was at UNLV going into my second year, I had Tommy John surgery. It put me out for several months and gave me time to reflect on what I really wanted and made me realize how passionate I was about football and how I wanted to continue to pursue it,” Thomson said recently (via Yahoo Sports). “I knew it would take a tremendous amount of work to get where I wanted to be, but I was willing to do that. So I think the injury really made me a better player overall since it forced me to do some self-reflection.”

Per Pelissero, these undrafted QBs will also show their stuff at rookie minicamps later this month:

  • Mississippi State’s K.J. Costello (Chargers)
  • Tulsa’s Zach Smith (Bills)
  • Memphis’ Brady White (Titans)
  • Monmouth’s Kenji Bahar (Ravens)
  • San Jose State’s Josh Love (Browns; 2020 UDFA who spent last offseason with Rams)

Minor NFL Transactions: 5/6/21

Today’s minor moves:

Atlanta Falcons

  • Signed: WR Juwan Green

Indianapolis Colts

  • Waived: CB Will Sunderland

Las Vegas Raiders

  • Signed: G Marquel Harrell

Los Angeles Chargers

  • Claimed (from Cowboys): DB Kemon Hall

New Orleans Saints

New York Jets

Seattle Seahawks

  • Claimed (from Cowboys): CB Saivion Smith
  • Signed: TE Nick Guggemos

Tampa Bay Buccaneers

  • Claimed (from Cowboys): LB Ladarius Hamilton
  • Signed: CB Nate Brooks

Tennessee Titans

Chargers Announce 10 UDFA Signings

This year’s crop of draftable prospects was said to be on the thin side, so the 2021 class of UDFAs is expected to have even fewer players make the cut than usual. But you never know, and teams still have 90 roster spots they can fill throughout the spring and summer. The Chargers were among the first to announce their UDFA signings:

As with most UDFA classes, this one included several notable guarantees. Goldwire received $50K in guaranteed money, while Ogbongbemiga got a $30K guarantee (Twitter links via Aaron Wilson of the Houston Chronicle). Goldwire earned All-ACC Second Team honors after recording 35 tackles, five TFLs, and two sacks from his nose tackle position, while Ogbongbemiga piled up 180 tackles over the past two seasons and possesses excellent speed.

Stove struggled with injuries in his collegiate career but is quick and has good hands. He caught 44 passes for 359 yards and three scores in his final season at Auburn.

2021 NFL Draft Results By Round

The 2021 NFL Draft is here! We’ll be keeping tabs here, from pick No. 1 through No. 259:

Round 1

1) Jacksonville Jaguars: Trevor Lawrence, QB (Clemson)
2) New York Jets: Zach Wilson, QB (BYU)
3) San Francisco 49ers (from Texans via Dolphins): Trey Lance, QB (North Dakota State)
4) Atlanta Falcons: Kyle Pitts, TE (Florida)
5) Cincinnati Bengals: Ja’Marr Chase, WR (LSU)
6) Miami Dolphins (from Eagles): Jaylen Waddle, WR (Alabama)
7) Detroit Lions: Penei Sewell, OT (Oregon)
8) Carolina Panthers: Jaycee Horn, CB (South Carolina)
9) Denver Broncos: Patrick Surtain II, CB (Alabama)
10) Philadelphia Eagles (from Cowboys): DeVonta Smith, WR (Alabama)
11) Chicago Bears (from Giants): Justin Fields, QB (Ohio State)
12) Dallas Cowboys (from 49ers via Dolphins via Eagles): Micah Parsons, LB (Penn State)
13) Los Angeles Chargers: Rashawn Slater, OT (Northwestern)
14) New York Jets (from Vikings): Alijah Vera-Tucker, OL (USC)
15) New England Patriots: Mac Jones, QB (Alabama)
16) Arizona Cardinals: Zaven Collins, LB (Tulsa)
17) Las Vegas Raiders: Alex Leatherwood, OL (Alabama)
18) Miami Dolphins: Jaelan Phillips, DL (Miami)
19) Washington Football Team: Jamin Davis, LB (Kentucky)
20) New York Giants (from Bears): Kadarius Toney, WR (Florida)
21) Indianapolis Colts: Kwity Paye, DL (Michigan)
22) Tennessee Titans: Caleb Farley, CB (Virginia Tech)
23) Minnesota Vikings (from Seahawks via Jets): Christian Darrisaw, OT (Virginia Tech)
24) Pittsburgh Steelers: Najee Harris, RB (Alabama)
25) Jacksonville Jaguars (from Rams): Travis Etienne, RB (Clemson)
26) Cleveland Browns: Greg Newsome II, CB (Northwestern)
27) Baltimore Ravens: Rashod Bateman, WR (Minnes0ta)
28) New Orleans Saints: Payton Turner, DE (Houston)
29) Green Bay Packers: Eric Stokes, CB (Georgia)
30) Buffalo Bills: Gregory Rousseau, DL (Miami)
31) Baltimore Ravens (from Chiefs): Jayson Oweh, DE (Penn State)
32) Tampa Bay Buccaneers: Joe Tryon, LB (Washington)

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2021 NFL Draft Results: Team By Team

The 2021 NFL Draft has arrived! As the picks come in, we’ll keep track of each team’s haul right here:

[RELATED: 2021 NFL Draft Order By Round]

Arizona Cardinals

Round 1: No. 16 Zaven Collins, LB (Tulsa)
Round 2: No. 49 Rondale Moore, WR (Purdue)
Round 4: No. 136 (from Ravens) Marco Wilson, CB (Florida)
Round 6: No. 210 (from Ravens) Victor Dimukeje, LB (Duke)
Round 6: No. 223 (from Vikings) Tay Gowan, CB (Central Florida)
Round 7: No. 243 James Wiggins, S (Cincinnati)
Round 7: No. 247 (from Bears through Raiders) Michal Menet, C (Penn State)

Atlanta Falcons

Round 1: No. 4 Kyle Pitts, TE (Florida)
Round 2: No. 40 (from Broncos) S Richie Grant (Central Florida)
Round 3: No. 68 Jalen Mayfield, OT (Michigan)
Round 4: No. 108: Darren Hall, CB (SDSU)
Round 4: No. 114 (from Broncos) Drew Dalman, C (Stanford)
Round 5: No. 148 Ta’Quon Graham, DT (Texas)
Round 5: No. 182 Adetokunbo Ogundeji, DE (Notre Dame)
Round 5: No. 183 Avery Williams, CB (Boise State)
Round 6: No. 187 Frank Darby, WR (Arizona State)

Baltimore Ravens

Round 1: No. 27 Rashod Bateman, WR (Minnes0ta)
Round 1: No. 31 (from Chiefs) Jayson Oweh, DE (Penn State)
Round 3: No. 94 (from Chiefs) Ben Cleveland, G (Georgia)
Round 3: No. 104 Brandon Stephens, CB (SMU)
Round 4: No. 131 Tylan Wallace, WR (Oklahoma State)
Round 5: No. 160 (from Cardinals) Shaun Wade, CB (Ohio State)
Round 5: No. 171 Daelin Hayes, LB (Notre Dame)
Round 5: No. 184 Ben Mason, FB (Michigan)

Buffalo Bills

Round 1: No. 30 Gregory Rousseau, DL (Miami)
Round 2: No. 61 Carlos Basham Jr., DE (Wake Forest)
Round 3: No. 93 Spencer Brown, OT (Northern Iowa)
Round 5: No. 161 (from Raiders) Tommy Doyle, OT (Miami (Ohio))
Round 6: No. 203 Marquez Stevenson, WR (Houston)
Round 6: No. 212 (from Saints via Texans) Damar Hamlin, S (Pittsburgh)
Round 6: No. 213 Rachad Wildgoose, CB (Wisconsin)
Round 7: No. 236 (from Panthers) Jack Anderson, G (Texas Tech)

Carolina Panthers

Round 1: No. 8 Jaycee Horn, CB (South Carolina)
Round 2: No. 59 (from Browns) Terrace Marshall Jr., WR (LSU)
Round 3: No. 70 (from Eagles) Brady Christensen, OT (BYU)
Round 3: No. 83 (from Bears) Tommy Tremble, TE (Notre Dame)
Round 4: No. 113 Chuba Hubbard, RB (Oklahoma State) (signed)
Round 5: No. 158 Daviyon Nixon, DT (Iowa)
Round 5: No. 166 (from Titans) Keith Taylor, CB (Washington)
Round 6: No. 204 (from Bears) Shi Smith, WR (South Carolina)
Round 6: No. 222 Thomas Fletcher, LS (Alabama)
Round 7: No. 232 (from Titans) Phil Hoskins, DT (Kentucky)

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Chargers Draft FSU CB Asante Samuel Jr. At No. 47

The Chargers have added one of the biggest names left on the board with the 47th overall pick. Los Angeles drafted Florida State cornerback Asante Samuel Jr.

Most NFL fans will recognize the name at least because of Samuel’s father, who starred with the Patriots and Eagles a decade-plus ago. The younger Samuel was a legit first-round prospect, and NFL.com’s Daniel Jeremiah had him going 30th overall in his final mock draft.

Samuel was a first-team All-ACC this past season, and will be an interesting piece for Brandon Staley’s inaugural defense in Los Angeles. Some scouts thought Samuel was a bit undersized, but he’s a playmaker who had three interceptions and two fumble recoveries in only eight games in 2020.

In 2019, he had 14 passes defended in 12 games. The Chargers really needed some cornerback help after letting Casey Hayward go this offseason. Samuel will now join a young secondary that has to be hyped to play for the defensive guru Staley, and it also includes fellow FSU alum Derwin James.

The elder Samuel won two Super Bowls while making three All-Pro teams and four Pro Bowls, so if he can come anywhere close to his father the Chargers will be quite happy.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Chargers Exercise Derwin James’ Fifth-Year Option

The Chargers have exercised safety Derwin James‘ fifth-year option, as James Palmer of the NFL Network reports (via Twitter). That decision will guarantee James a $9.052MM salary in 2022.

James’ talent should have made this an easy call. The Florida State product was tremendous in his rookie season in 2018, racking up three interceptions, 13 passes defensed, and 3.5 sacks. That year culminated in a trip to the divisional round of the playoffs for Los Angeles and First Team All-Pro honors for James.

But James’ subsequent injury problems might have given the Chargers pause. A stress fracture in his right foot limited James to just five games in 2019, and he suffered a knee injury in practice shortly before the start of the 2020 campaign, which wiped out his entire season. It was reported that the ensuing meniscus surgery would require six to eight months of recovery time, and while we have not heard anything definitive, that timeline and the fact that the team picked up James’ fully-guaranteed option suggest that he is expected to be ready to go come Week 1.

If Los Angeles’ roster can stay relatively healthy in 2021, the club should have a real chance at a postseason berth. The Chargers filled a major need at left tackle in the first round of last night’s draft by picking up Northwestern LT Rashawn Slater, which makes the offense a formidable unit on paper. Meanwhile, a full season from James would be a major boost to the defensive side of the ball.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Chargers Draft Northwestern T Rashawn Slater No. 13 Overall

With the No. 13 overall pick, the Chargers selected Rashawn Slater. The Bolts weren’t sure if the Northwestern tackle would be available at this stage, but they managed to get one of the top players on their board without mortgaging their remaining draft ammo.

The son of former eight-year NBA veteran Reggie Slater, Rashawn started 37 games at either left or right tackle between 2017 and 2019. This included a sophomore season where he earned Third-team All-Big Ten honors. Slater also fared well against Chase Young in their final matchup of the 2019 campaign, not allowing the ex-Buckeyes phenom to record a quarterback hit when they were matched up. Despite shifting from right to left tackle as a junior, Slater did not allow a sack in 11 games that season.

Slater managed to maintain his high draft stock despite sitting out the 2020 campaign. While the 305-pound offensive lineman stands at 6-foot-3, he lacks the elite length of top offensive tackles. While Slater seems to offer the explosiveness to excel at the position, it wouldn’t be a huge surprise if a team looks to develop him as an offensive guard.

Slater can be an immediate contributor on the Chargers offensive line. Justin Herbert looked the part of a franchise quarterback during his rookie season, but he had to tolerate 32 sacks this past year. Slater will certainly keep the signal caller upright.

This is one down for the Bolts, but the Bolts still have eight picks to go this weekend:

  • Round 2: No. 47
  • Round 3: No. 77
  • Round 3: No. 97
  • Round 4: No. 118
  • Round 5: No. 159
  • Round 6: No. 185 (from Jaguars through Titans)
  • Round 6: No. 198
  • Round 7: No. 241

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

2022 NFL Fifth-Year Option Tracker

NFL teams have until May 3 to officially pick up their options on 2018 first-rounders who are entering the final year of their rookie deals. In a change from years past, fifth-year option seasons are fully guaranteed, rather than guaranteed for injury only. Meanwhile, salaries are now determined by a blend of the player’s position, initial draft placement, and specific performance metrics:

  • 2-time Pro Bowlers (excluding alternate Pro Bowlers) will earn the same as their position’s franchise tag.
  • 1-time Pro Bowlers will earn the equivalent of the transition tag.
  • Players who achieve any of the following will get the average of the 3rd-20th highest salaries at their position:
    • 75%+ snaps in two of their first three seasons
    • 75%+ average across all three seasons
    • 50%+ in each of first three seasons
  • Players who do not hit any of those benchmarks will get the average of the 3rd-25th top salaries at their position.

With the deadline looming, we’ll use the space below to track all the option decisions from around the league:

Updated 4-30-21, 4:24pm CT

  1. QB Baker Mayfield, Browns: Exercised ($18.858MM)
  2. RB Saquon Barkley, Giants: Exercised ($7.217MM)
  3. QB Sam Darnold, Panthers (via Jets): Pending ($18.858MM)
  4. CB Denzel Ward, Browns — Exercised ($13.294MM)
  5. LB Bradley Chubb, Broncos — Pending ($12.716MM)
  6. G Quenton Nelson, Colts — Pending ($13.754MM)
  7. QB Josh Allen, Bills: Pending ($23.106MM)
  8. LB Roquan Smith, Bears: Exercised ($9.735MM)
  9. OT Mike McGlinchey, 49ers: Exercised ($10.88MM)
  10. QB Josh Rosen, Cardinals: N/A
  11. S Minkah Fitzpatrick, Steelers (via Dolphins): Exercised ($10.612MM)
  12. DT Vita Vea, Buccaneers: Exercised ($7.638MM)
  13. DT Daron Payne, Washington — Exercised ($8.529MM)
  14. DE Marcus Davenport, Saints: Exercised ($9.553MM)
  15. OT Kolton Miller, Raiders — N/A (extension)
  16. LB Tremaine Edmunds, Bills: Pending ($12.716MM)
  17. S Derwin James, Chargers: Exercised ($9.052MM)
  18. CB Jaire Alexander, Packers: Exercised ($13.294MM)
  19. LB Leighton Vander Esch, Cowboys: Pending ($9.145MM)
  20. C Frank Ragnow, Lions: Exercised ($12.657MM)
  21. C Billy Price, Bengals: Declined ($10.413MM)
  22. LB Rashaan Evans, Titans: Pending ($9.735MM)
  23. OT Isaiah Wynn, Patriots: Pending ($10.413 MM)
  24. WR D.J. Moore, Panthers: Exercised ($11.116MM)
  25. TE Hayden Hurst, Falcons (via Ravens): Pending ($5.428MM)
  26. WR Calvin Ridley, Falcons: Pending ($11.116MM)
  27. RB Rashaad Penny, Seahawks: Pending ($4.523MM)
  28. S Terrell Edmunds, Steelers: Pending ($6.753MM)
  29. DT Taven Bryan, Jaguars: Pending ($7.638MM)
  30. CB Mike Hughes, Vikings: Pending ($12.643MM)
  31. RB Sony Michel, Patriots: Pending ($4.523MM)
  32. QB Lamar Jackson, Ravens: Exercised ($23.106MM)

2021 NFL Draft: Team By Team

The 2021 NFL Draft has arrived! Soon, picks will soon be swapped and shuffled at lightning speed. But, before the trading frenzy starts, here’s a look at the draft picks owned by each team:

[RELATED: 2021 NFL Draft Order By Round]

Arizona Cardinals – Picks: 6

Round 1: No. 16 overall
Round 2: No. 49
Round 5: No. 160
Round 6: No. 223 (from Vikings)
Round 7: Nos. 243, 247 (from Bears through Raiders)

Atlanta Falcons — Picks: 9

Round 1: No. 4 overall
Round 2: No. 35
Round 3: No. 68
Round 4: No. 108
Round 5: Nos. 148, 182, 183
Round 6: Nos. 187, 219

Baltimore Ravens – Picks: 10

Round 1: Nos. 27, 31 (from Chiefs) overall
Round 2: No. 58
Round 3: Nos. 94 (from Chiefs), 104
Round 4: Nos. 131, 136 (from Chiefs)
Round 5: Nos. 171, 184
Round 6: No. 210

Buffalo Bills — Picks: 7

Round 1: No. 30 overall
Round 2: No. 61
Round 3: No. 93
Round 5: Nos. 161 (from Raiders), 174
Round 6: No. 213
Round 7: No. 236 (from Panthers)

Carolina Panthers — Picks: 8

Round 1: No. 8 overall
Round 2: No. 39
Round 3: No. 73
Round 4: No. 113
Round 5: No. 151
Round 6: Nos. 191 (from Broncos), 193, 222

Chicago Bears — Picks: 8

Round 1: No. 20 overall
Round 2: No. 52
Round 3: No. 83
Round 5: No. 164
Round 6: Nos. 204, 208 (from Seahawks through Dolphins), 221, 228

Cincinnati Bengals — Picks: 8

Round 1: No. 5 overall
Round 2: No. 38
Round 3: No. 69
Round 4: No. 111
Round 5: No. 149
Round 6: No. 190
Round 7: Nos. 202 (from Dolphins through Texans), 235 (from Lions through Seahawks)

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