Spencer Brown (RB)

NFL Reserve/Futures Contracts: 1/10/22

A bunch of teams had their seasons come to an end yesterday, and these front offices are now starting to prepare for the offseason. Today, a number of players were inked to reserve/futures contracts, which allows organizations to retain (mostly) young, practice squad players throughout the offseason. We’ve compiled today’s reserve/futures contracts below:

Baltimore Ravens

Carolina Panthers

Cleveland Browns

Denver Broncos

Detroit Lions

Houston Texans

Jacksonville Jaguars

Minnesota Vikings

New Orleans Saints

New York Giants

New York Jets

Seattle Seahawks

Washington Football Team

Panthers Place RB Christian McCaffrey On IR

Christian McCaffrey is set to miss at least three more games. The Panthers announced today (via Twitter) that they’ve placed their star running back on injured reserve.

This is a tough blow for the Panthers. McCaffrey hasn’t played since he exited his Week 3 contest with a hamstring injury. The Panthers’ initial decision to not place their starting RB on injured reserve provided some optimism that the player would be back sooner than later. Considering the three-week IR requirement, some even assumed the 25-year-old would be back on the field this weekend considering he’s already missed two games.

Alas, we found out yesterday that McCaffrey wouldn’t play tomorrow against the Vikings. Now, thanks to today’s move, the versatile offensive weapon won’t see the field until at least the team’s matchup against the Patriots on November 7.

Following a historic 2019 campaign that saw him finish with 2,392 yards from scrimmage and 19 touchdowns, the Panthers made McCaffrey the highest-paid RB in the NFL when they gave him a four-year, $64MM deal. However, the RB was limited to only three games last season, and he completed only two games in 2021 before suffering another injury. Through two-plus games this year, McCaffrey has collected 364 yards from scrimmage and one touchdown on 68 carries.

With McCaffrey still out of the lineup, the team will continue relying on rookie fourth-round pick Chuba Hubbard as their top running back. The fill-in had the best game of his rookie campaign in Week 5, finishing with 134 yards from scrimmage.

The Panthers made a handful of additional moves today, including placing rookie offensive lineman Deonte Brown on IR. The team also signed guard Michael Jordan to the active roster, and they promoted punter Ryan Winslow and running back Spencer Brown from the taxi squad.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Panthers Set Initial 53-Man Roster

Add the Panthers to the list of teams who have officially trimmed their roster down to the required 53 players. Remember this is only the initial roster, so not everybody who was spared Tuesday will make it through to the regular season after the waiver wire frenzy the next few days.

Here’s the list of players Carolina cut on Tuesday:

Released:

Waived:

Placed on season-ending IR

You’ll probably recognize at least a few names on this list, including Bynes, Grier, Kirkwood, and Bonnafon. Bynes is a veteran linebacker with 117 appearances and 63 starts under his belt since entering the league all the way back in 2011. He started all 16 games for the Bengals last year, but it took him until just a few weeks ago to get signed by Carolina.

Grier is the West Virginia product who had a fair amount of buzz coming out of college. Despite some initial talk that he could get drafted in the first or second-round, he ended up as a third-round pick in 2019. He ended up starting two games for the Panthers as a rookie, struggling mightily while tossing four interceptions and no touchdowns. Carolina is throwing in the towel after just two seasons, electing to roll with only P.J. Walker behind Sam Darnold. Grier should be able to at least end up on somebody’s practice squad.

Panthers Cut Frank Herron, Sign Two UDFAs

Frank Herron‘s stint with the Panthers lasted less than a month. The Panthers waived the defensive tackle today, per the NFL’s transaction report.

The 26-year-old has bounced around the NFL since going undrafted out of LSU in 2018, spending time with the (inhales) the Patriots, Seahawks, Patriots (second stint), Titans, Lions, Dolphins, Lions (second stint), and Panthers (exhales). Herron has seen time in seven career games, collecting 11 tackles and one tackle for loss.

After spending much of the 2020 season bouncing on and off the Lions active roster (he ultimately saw time in four games), he was let go a final time in early January. Then, in mid-April, he ended up finding his next gig with the Panthers, although he didn’t even make it to training camp with his new squad.

The Panthers likely made this move to carve out some extra roster space, especially after they added two undrafted free agents today. Per the league’s transaction report, the team signed Alabama-Birmingham running back Spencer Brown and Northwestern linebacker Paddy Fisher.