Taylor Heinicke

QBs Josh Johnson, Taylor Heinicke Join XFL

Earlier this morning, the XFL announced a series of quarterback assignments. The league assigned Josh Johnson to the Los Angeles Wildcats, quarterback Taylor Heinicke to the St. Louis Blackhawks, and Chase Litton to the Seattle Dragons.

The move adds another bullet point to Johnson’s absurdly long transaction history in professional football. Since playing for Jim Harbaugh at the University of San Diego from 2004-2007, Johnson has been signed by 13 different NFL teams and had stints in two other upstart leagues (the UFL and AAF). While he is unlikely to ever be an NFL starter, his long-run of opportunities suggests he has the talent and mindset to be quite successful in a situation like the XFL.

Heinicke and Litton are both noticeably younger than Johnson, but have NFL resumes of their own. Litton has never appeared in an NFL game, but was signed to a reserve/futures contract by the Chiefs and signed to the Jaguars practice squad before he was released in October. Heinicke has bounced between four NFL organizations. He has appeared in seven games and started in Week 16 last season for the Panthers. Heinicke is a career 36 for 58 on passing attempts for 320 yards with one touchdown and three interceptions.

NFL Workout Updates: 11/11/19

Here’s the latest from around the league’s workout circuit:

Cleveland Browns

Green Bay Packers

Houston Texans

Indianapolis Colts

New York Giants

Oakland Raiders

Philadelphia Eagles

NFL Workout Updates: 10/29/19

Here is an update on workouts around the league:

Baltimore Ravens

Buffalo Bills

Indianapolis Colts

Jacksonville Jaguars

Seattle Seahawks

Tennessee Titans

Titans Audition QBs Joe Callahan, Taylor Heinicke

Marcus Mariota is coming off one of his best starts of the season, that didn’t stop the Titans from auditioning some quarterbacks today. Veteran NFL reporter Howard Balzer tweets that the Titans worked out signal-callers Joe Callahan and Taylor Heinicke.

Heinicke, a 2015 undrafted free agent out of Old Dominion, got into six games (one start) with the Panthers last season, completing 61.4-percent of his passes for 320 yards, one touchdown, and three picks. The 26-year-old also added another 31 yards (as well as a fumble) on five carries. He was released by the Panthers at the end of the preseason, and he’s since had workouts with the Bills and Lions.

Callahan, 26, has managed to put together a four-year career despite only appearing in a single NFL game. The former undrafted free agent out of Wesley (DE) has had stints with the Packers (two stints), Saints, Browns, Eagles, Buccaneers, and Ravens. He appeared in a single game with Green Bay back in 2017, completing five of his seven pass attempts for 11 yards. He joined Baltimore this past offseason before being cut in late August.

While Mariota wasn’t necessarily at risk of losing his starting job, he didn’t do much to quiet his critics during the Titans’ losses in Week 2 and Week 3. However, he bounced back in Sunday’s win over the Falcons, completing 18 of his 27 pass attempts for 227 yards and three touchdowns. He also added 22 rushing yards on three carries. The Titans gave up some draft capital to acquire backup Ryan Tannehill, so it’s unlikely a free agent addition would be any better than third on the depth chart. However, it makes sense for the Titans to explore some options just in case they suffer a sudden injury.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

NFL Workout Updates: 9/10/19

We’ve got another busy day of workouts, with many teams across the league hosting players.

Arizona Cardinals

Buffalo Bills

Cleveland Browns

Detroit Lions

Indianapolis Colts

Miami Dolphins

New York Giants

New York Jets

Philadelphia Eagles

Seattle Seahawks

Tennessee Titans

Washington Redskins

NFL Workout Updates: 9/3/19

Here are today’s workout updates, all courtesy of Aaron Wilson of the Houston Chronicle (via Twitter) unless otherwise noted. The Saints had several recognizable players in for workouts.

Arizona Cardinals (Twitter link via veteran NFL reporter Howard Balzer)

Carolina Panthers (Twitter link via Balzer)

Cincinnati Bengals

Detroit Lions

New Orleans Saints

New York Jets

  • Brandon Hitner

Philadelphia Eagles

Washington Redskins (Twitter link via Balzer)

Panthers Set 53-Man Roster

The Panthers have officially set their 53-man roster, and there are few major surprises on the list. One of the most notable names is running back Cameron Artis-Payne, who spent the past four years in Carolina. The team also moved on from fellow offensive veteran Aldrick Robinson, who finished last season with five touchdown receptions for the Vikings.

Otherwise, the other notable names include recent draft picks, like 2018 seventh-round wideout Terry Godwin and 2017 fifth-round cornerback Corn Elder.

The rest of the Panthers’ roster moves are below:




Placed on IR:

Panthers Cut QB Taylor Heinicke

The Panthers have released quarterback Taylor Heinicke, according to NFL.com’s Tom Pelissero (on Twitter). With that, the Panthers will move forward with Kyle Allen as the backup and rookie Will Grier as the backups to starter Cam Newton.

The Panthers brought Heinicke, a former UDFA, in off of waivers from the Texans last year. He wound up making one start, though he finished out the year with one touchdown pass and three interceptions. Near the end, they turned to Allen after Heinicke suffered an elbow injury.

Heinicke, 26, will now look to hook on elsewhere and make the second start of his NFL career.

Panthers Re-Sign QB Taylor Heinicke

One of the lower-profile backup quarterbacks in the NFL last season, Taylor Heinicke saw some game action after Cam Newton‘s injury. The Panthers are bringing him back for another season.

The team announced Heinicke re-signed to stay in Carolina. He joins Newton and Kyle Allen as the Panthers’ quarterbacks.

A UDFA whom the Panthers brought in via waiver claim from the Texans last year, Heinicke made one start last season and finished his season with one touchdown pass and three interceptions. The Panthers turned to Allen by season’s end, with Heinicke suffering an elbow injury that sent him to IR. But they are keeping the 25-year-old Heinicke around nonetheless.



Panthers Place Taylor Heinicke On IR

The Panthers have a new quarterback. On Wednesday, Carolina placed Taylor Heinicke on injured reserve and signed Garrett Gilbert to replace him. 

Heinicke took over as the starting QB after Cam Newton was shut down due to a shoulder injury. Then, on Sunday against the Falcons, Heinicke fell hard on his elbow in the second quarter. He mustered up the courage to return to the game after a brief exit, but a Wednesday morning MRI revealed a serious injury for the fill-in and it will necessitate a stint on the IR.

With Gilbert in the fold, the Panthers now have two healthy QBs in Heinicke and Kyle Allen. Allen, in all likelihood, will get the start in the Panthers’ season finale.

Gilbert, meanwhile, offers some familiarity with the Panthers’ offense since he was with the team in the in 2017 and the 2018 offseason. For now, he’ll put his opportunity with Orlando Apollos of the AAF on hold for a chance to prove himself on the NFL’s gridiron.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.