Stephen Weatherly

Vikings’ Stephen Weatherly Takes Pay Cut

Stephen Weatherly took a pay cut in order to stick with the Vikings (Twitter link via Chris Tomasson of the Pioneer Press). Instead of earning $2.5MM, the defensive end will make $2MM in 2020. On the plus side, that sum is now fully guaranteed since he is a vested veteran.

The Vikings considered cutting Weatherly after he lost his first-string spot to D.J. Wonnum. That would have left the club with $500K in dead money, so this was a much more logical compromise.

The 27-year-old started his career in Minnesota and came back to where it all began in March. He started out as a seventh-round pick in 2016 and went on to record six sacks between 2018 and ’19 for the Vikings. Last year, he moved on to the Panthers and began the year as a starter. Then, when finger injury derailed his season, second-rounder Yetur Gross-Matos stepped into his role.

Weatherly recorded zero sacks in Carolina, so he’ll aim for a more productive 2021. It all starts on Sunday when the Vikings face the Bengals at Paul Brown Stadium.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

NFL Contract Details: 3/10/21

Deetz on some of the more recent deals in the NFL, via Field Yates of ESPN.com (on Twitter):

Britt missed the 2020 season but seems to have a solid opportunity ahead of him in Houston. The Texans just released Nick Martin last week, opening up playing time at the center position.

Vikings Sign DE Stephen Weatherly

Stephen Weatherly has agreed to sign with the Vikings, per an announcement on his Instagram. The 26-year-old defensive end started his career in Minnesota and now he’s headed back to where it all began.

Weatherly came into the league as a seventh-round pick in 2016. He went on to record six sacks between the 2018 and ’19 seasons before joining up with the Panthers last March. Weatherly began the year as the team’s defensive end starter opposite Brian Burns before suffering a finger injury. That meant surgery, which meant a mid-season IR stint. After that, second-round pick Yetur Gross-Matos took his place. Weatherly recorded zero sacks in Carolina.

Last time around, Weatherly scored a two-year, $12.5MM deal in free agency. His return to the Vikings likely comes at a lesser rate, but still more than his original seventh-round contract.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

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.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Minor NFL Transactions: 11/13/20

Here are Friday’s minor moves:

Buffalo Bills 

  • Placed on IR: LB Del’Shawn Phillips

Carolina Panthers

Miami Dolphins

New Orleans Saints

New York Giants

Contract Details: JPP, Cousins, Weatherly

Deals are coming in quickly, so we’ve compiled some important contract details below:

DE Stephen Weatherly Signs With Panthers

Defensive end Stephen Weatherly has signed a two-year, $12.5MM deal with the Panthers, agent Blake Baratz announced on Twitter.

Weatherly had spent his entire career with the Vikings after being selected in the seventh round of the 2016 draft. The 25-year-old appeared in all 32 regular season games for Minnesota over the past two years, collecting three sacks each season. Weatherly also had a sack during the Vikings Divisional Round loss to the 49ers this past year.

It’s been a relatively quiet day in Carolina. The Panthers only other move came when they released special teams captain Colin Jones earlier this afternoon.

Vikings, DE Stephen Weatherly Discussing Extension

A former seventh-rounder could be eyeing a significant pay raise. Chris Tomasson of TwinCities.com reports that the Vikings and defensive end Stephen Weatherly have started to discuss a contract extension.

The 25-year-old is set to make $720K in the final year of his contract, but both sides are hoping this won’t be Weatherly’s final season in Minnesota.

“There’s only one more year left,’’ Weatherly told Tomasson. “If that’s what they want, by all means I’ll be down for (an extension). If they think I’m good enough to keep around, then that would be amazing. I was drafted in the seventh round and worked my way up. That would be a pretty good story to tell my kids one day.’’

Agent Blake Baratz acknowledged that the two sides have discussed a possible extension, but he also noted that there are some hurdles to overcome.

“We’ve had some discussions,’’ Baratz said. “He definitely would like to be here. I know the Vikings want him here. They don’t have the most cap room in the league, so who knows if it will happen before this season, during this season, after this season? I don’t think there’s a timetable on it, but I think it makes sense for both parties. A lot of things have got to play out first, but I think it’s a desire on both parties.’’

As the agent notes, the Viking aren’t working with a whole lot of cap space, as they’re currently sitting with around $612K in room. Further complicating matters are impending extensions for cornerbacks Trae Waynes and Mackensie Alexander. As Tomasson notes, moving tight end Kyle Rudolph and his $7.625MM cap number should provide the Vikings with some wiggle room.

The Vikings selected Weatherly in the seventh round of the 2016 draft, although the Vanderbilt product rarely played during his rookie campaign. The defensive end saw more playing time during the 2017 campaign, and that led to him having a breakout season in 2018. Weatherly finished last season establishing career-highs across the board, compiling 35 tackles, three sacks, and one forced fumble in 16 games (six starts).

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Vikings Cut Ronnie Hillman

Ronnie Hillman‘s time in Minnesota is through. The Vikings announced that Hillman has been waived. To fill his spot on the roster, defensive end Stephen Weatherly has been signed from the practice squad. Ronnie Hillman (vertical)

Hillman signed with the Vikings in September after Adrian Peterson was placed on injured reserve. Since then, he has posted a grand total of 50 yards off of 18 carries plus four catches for 43 yards. On Sunday, he had only two rushing attempts, the latest sign that he was being pushed further down in the pecking order.

Hillman‘s deal with the Vikings was a one-year pact worth the prorated league minimum of $760K with no guaranteed money, so the Vikings won’t be on the hook for anything going forward. The Broncos had offset language on the $400K in guaranteed salary owed to Hillman, so they have now been relieved of most or all of that debt.

Weatherly, a seventh-round pick in this year’s draft, signed with the Vikings’ taxi squad after missing the final cut. The Vanderbilt product will slot behind Danielle Hunter and Justin Trattou as reserve bookends behind Brian Robison and Everson Griffen. He could also contribute as an outside linebacker.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Sunday NFL Transactions: NFC North

Listed below are the Sunday roster moves for the four NFC North teams. Following the 53-man roster cutdown deadline yesterday, many teams will make slight tweaks to their rosters, claiming players off waivers or signing guys who clear waivers. Those transactions for the Bears, Lions, Packers, and Vikings are noted below.

Additionally, as of 12:00pm CT today, teams can begin constructing their 10-man practice squads. You can check out our glossary entry on practice squads to brush up on those changes, as well as all the other guidelines that govern the 10-man units, whose players practice with the team but aren’t eligible to suit up on Sundays.

Here are Sunday’s NFC North transactions, which will continue to be updated throughout the day. All links go to Twitter unless otherwise noted:

Chicago Bears

Detroit Lions

Green Bay Packers

Minnesota Vikings