Taylor Moton

Panthers, Taylor Moton Agree To $72MM Deal

The Panthers and Taylor Moton have officially agreed to a new four-year, $72MM deal (Twitter link via NFL.com’s Ian Rapoport). The deal includes $43MM in guaranteed cash, putting Moton at the top of the market for right tackles. 

Moton is now one of the highest-paid players at his position, scoring long-term stability over his original one-year, $13.75MM tender. The 26-year-old (27 in August) has started 48 straight games at right tackle for the Panthers, with Pro Football Focus grading him as a top-20 tackle in each of those three campaigns. That included 2020, a season where the lineman ranked as a top-five right tackle. He also saw just one penalty called against him, an impressive feat given all those snaps. And, in 2019, he played on all but six of the Panthers’ plays.

Previously, we heard that the Panthers were a long ways from locking down their former second-round pick. Now, they’ve got him under contract for years to come. It’s a slightly shorter deal than Ryan Ramczyk’s recent pact with the Saints, but he’s not too far behind in terms of average annual value. Still, Ramczyk has the edge with his five-year, $96MM deal that includes $60MM in guarantees, good for a $19.2MM AAV. Eagles veteran Lane Johnson, meanwhile, is just behind with $55MM in guaranteed dollars.

Moton was the third offensive lineman to be tagged in team history. Now, just like left tackle Jordan Gross and center Ryan Kalil, he’s parlayed that into a long-term arrangement.

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Latest On Extension Talks Between Taylor Moton, Panthers

Taylor Moton is prepared to play next season on the franchise tag. While the Panthers still have interest in extending the offensive tackle, ESPN’s Jeremy Fowler tweets that there’s still a “gap to bridge.”

Specifically, Moton’s willingness to play the 2021 campaign on the franchise tag provides his camp with a bit of leverage. Since the 26-year-old isn’t necessarily pushing for a long-term deal, he’s willing to engage in a staring contest in pursuit of his desired salary. With only a few days remaining before the deadline, it’s most likely Moton ends up playing on that one-year, ~$14MM deal.

The 27-year-old has started 48 straight games at right tackle for the Panthers, with Pro Football Focus grading Moton as a top-20 tackle in each of those three campaigns. That included a 2020 season where the lineman ranked as a top-five right tackle. The team slapped Moton with the franchise tag earlier this offseason, but it was believed the team was eyeing a long-term deal for the former second-round pick.

Ryan Ramczyk’s recent deal with New Orleans could certainly provide a basis for a Moton extension. Ramczyk inked a five-year, $96MM deal that included $60MM in guarantees. Ramczyk’s $19.2MM AAV makes him the NFL’s highest-paid right tackle, eclipsing a mark that was previously held by Eagles lineman Lane Johnson. Ramczyk’s $60MM guarantee also surpasses Johnson’s ($55MM), with the two players earning the distinction of being the only right tackles with guarantees surpassing $35MM. For comparison’s sake, Moton will earn around $13.7MM this upcoming season under the franchise tag.

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Status Of 7 Remaining Franchise-Tagged Players

Ten players comprised this year’s franchise tag contingent — down from 14 in 2020. However, the Broncos, Cowboys and Giants reached extension agreements with their tagged players — Justin Simmons, Dak Prescott and Leonard Williams, respectively — to leave seven tag recipients unsigned entering July.

With the July 15 deadline to extend franchise-tagged players less than two weeks away, here is where things stand with the remaining members of the group:

WR Chris Godwin, Buccaneers

Rather than tag Shaquil Barrett for a second straight year, the Bucs cuffed Godwin at $15.9MM. The defending Super Bowl champions found room for Barrett and every other notable free agent they had this offseason, going into overdrive in their effort to defend their second championship. Like every other franchise-tagged player this year, Godwin has signed his tender. The former third-round pick has said he wants to stay in Tampa long-term. The Bucs have Mike Evans signed to a now-below-market deal ($16.5MM per year), so it will be interesting to see how they navigate negotiations with his less accomplished (but three years younger, at 25) sidekick.

S Marcus Maye, Jets

Tagged months after the Jets traded Jamal Adams, Maye has not exactly enjoyed a smooth negotiating process. Just before the Jets tagged Maye, his agent slammed the team for a lackluster effort to extend the four-year starter beforehand. The Jets have carried on negotiations since applying the tag and are believed to have been steadfast in this approach, but this has not necessarily translated to progress. These talks are expected to go down to the wire. Maye, 28, not signing an extension by July 15 would keep the Mike Maccagnan-era draft choice on the $10.6MM tag.

OT Taylor Moton, Panthers

While the Panthers’ left tackle position has been one of the toughest to fill over the past decade, Moton has locked down the team’s right tackle post. A 2017 second-round pick, Moton has not missed a game since debuting in Carolina’s lineup in Week 1 of the 2018 season. The Panthers have a new regime in place, but the Matt RhuleScott Fitterer duo hopes to extend Moton.

The right tackle market moved this week, with Ryan Ramczyk agreeing to a $19.2MM-per-year extension. Moton, 26, is not a candidate to top that, but he may be primed to fill the gap between the top tier (Ramczyk and $18MM-AAV Lane Johnson) and Jack Conklin‘s $14MM-AAV deal. Moton is attached to a $13.8MM franchise tender.

WR Allen Robinson, Bears

Tagged at a higher price ($17.98MM) than Godwin because of his previous contract, Robinson has been the Bears’ No. 1 option on offense for the past three years. This has not translated to harmony between he and the team. Robinson has expressed frustration with the Bears’ tactics during his lengthy extension talks, which date back to last year, and he at one point surfaced in trade rumors.

This will be the eighth-year veteran’s age-28 season. A long-term Robinson deal would pair well with Justin Fields‘ rookie contract, with no other Bears receiver making even midlevel money, but the former third-round pick did not sound especially confident a deal will be finalized by the deadline.

OT Cam Robinson, Jaguars

This might be the closest to a “prove it” tag in this year’s lot. The former second-round pick has recovered from the ACL tear that cost him 14 games in 2018, starting 30 over the past two seasons. But Robinson, 25, has yet to show he is among the better players at the left tackle position. Without a viable replacement lined up, the Jaguars tagged the Alabama alum at $13.8MM. It would make sense for the Urban Meyer regime to gauge Robinson’s contract-year performance and reassess the matter next year. Holding the most cap space in the NFL ($38MM), the Jags can afford to carry Robinson’s tag figure this season.

G Brandon Scherff, Washington

Washington and its top offensive lineman have been at this for a while. A 2015 first-round pick, Scherff has been eligible for an extension since the 2017 season ended. Instead, Washington has seen another tag situation near the point of no return. The four-time Pro Bowl guard has played on the fifth-year option and the franchise tag, pushing this year’s tag price to $18MM. A third tag is unrealistic, as the Kirk Cousins standoff showed, and no deal this month would push Scherff toward free agency in 2022. The team wants to extend the 29-year-old blocker, but it will almost certainly take a guard-record agreement to do so. Joe Thuney raised the position’s ceiling with a $16MM-AAV deal in March.

S Marcus Williams, Saints

The Saints’ salary cap tightrope walk included a $10.6MM Williams tag, completing an odyssey that began with the team $100MM-plus over this year’s reduced cap. With New Orleans already doing the rare fifth-year option restructure with Marshon Lattimore, a Williams extension would be the easiest way to create more cap room. The team checked the top item off its offeseason to-do list, the Ramcyzk extension, but it may well have either a Lattimore or Williams re-up in its near-future plans.

Part of New Orleans’ impact 2017 draft class, the 24-year-old safety has been a starter from Day 1. Even though Lattimore may be a higher extension priority, the team coming all the way back from $100MM over the cap to use a franchise tag illustrates its view of Williams’ work.

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Panthers Hope To Sign Taylor Moton To Extension

The Saints and Ryan Ramczyk reset the market for right tackles earlier today, and that could pave the way for Taylor Moton‘s extension in Carolina. According to Joseph Person of The Athletic (via Twitter), the Panthers are hoping to complete a long-term deal with Moton before the July 15 deadline.

The team slapped Moton with the franchise tag earlier this offseason, but it was believed the team was eyeing a long-term deal for the former second-round pick. The 27-year-old has started 48 straight games at right tackle for the Panthers, with Pro Football Focus grading Moton as a top-20 tackle in each of those three campaigns. That included a 2020 season where the lineman ranked as a top-five right tackle.

Ramczyk’s new deal with New Orleans could certainly provide a basis for a Moton extension. Ramczyk inked a five-year, $96MM deal that included $60MM in guarantees. Ramczyk’s $19.2MM AAV makes him the NFL’s highest-paid right tackle, eclipsing a mark that was previously held by Eagles lineman Lane Johnson. Ramczyk’s $60MM guarantee also surpasses Johnson’s ($55MM), with the two players earning the distinction of being the only right tackles with guarantees surpassing $35MM. For comparison’s sake, Moton will earn around $13.7MM this upcoming season under the franchise tag.

The Panthers aren’t the only team looking to extend their right tackle. We learned earlier today that the Colts were working with Braden Smith on a long-term deal.

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Panthers To Franchise Tag Taylor Moton

The Panthers will use the franchise tag on tackle Taylor Moton, as Adam Schefter of ESPN.com tweets. This was the expected move, though a long-term deal remains possible. 

Moton, a 2017 second-round pick, has started 48 straight games at right tackle. The Panthers weren’t about to let him walk. Instead, they’ll tag him for the coming year for a yet-to-be-determined amount. In all likelihood, it’ll put him at around $15MM.

Pro Football Focus has graded Moton as a top-20 tackle in each of the past three years. He came in as a top-five right tackle in 2020, providing all the more reason for the Panthers to retain him. Now, the two sides will have until mid-July to hammer out a multi-year deal.

As a reminder: Offensive linemen are grouped together under the franchise tag formula, meaning that tagged guards often outperform their market. Tags for interior linemen are becoming more and more common, however — Brandon Scherff, for example, just scored his second straight.

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Panthers Likely To Tag Taylor Moton

Panthers tackle Taylor Moton is expected to receive the franchise tag, as Ian Rapoport of NFL.com tweets. The possibility of a long-term deal remains, but it sounds like the Panthers will buy themselves some time by first using the tag, then negotiating between now and mid-July. 

Moton talked contract with Carolina brass ahead of last season, but things cooled off during the year. The Panthers want Moton for the long haul, but they’d also be comfortable with a one-year arrangement. A new deal would probably cost around $15MM — maybe a touch less, depending on where the salary cap lands.

Pro Football Focus has graded Moton as a top-20 tackle in each of the past three years. He came in as a top-five right tackle in 2020, providing all the more reason for the Panthers to retain him. They’ll definitely need Moton in place hope to land, and adequately protect, Deshaun Watson.

Moton, a 2017 second-round pick, has started 48 straight games at right tackle. The Panthers have until March 9 to make the call.

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Panthers Plan To Franchise Taylor Moton

There are not many players left from Dave Gettleman‘s run of drafts in Carolina; the Panthers continued to separate from their pre-Matt Rhule era Tuesday by cutting Kawann Short. But they do plan to retain a key piece drafted before Rhule’s arrival.

The Panthers plan to use their franchise tag on tackle Taylor Moton, Jason La Canfora of CBS Sports notes. Moton has worked as Carolina’s right tackle starter for three seasons, after originally coming to Charlotte as a second-round pick. Moton and the Panthers engaged in extension talks ahead of last season, but nothing has emerged on this front in months.

Offensive linemen are grouped together under the franchise tag formula, making tackle tags more palatable for teams. Despite Ronnie Stanley and David Bakhtiari raising the salary ceiling for edge protectors last year, the O-lineman tag is expected to come in at around $15MM. The salary cap’s uncertain status could make final figures elusive until the 11th hour. As of mid-February, the cap is expected to come in at around $180MM. CBS Sports’ Joel Corry slotted the O-line tag at $14.8MM but did so on a $175MM cap — the predetermined floor for 2021.

Pro Football Focus has graded Moton as a top-20 tackle in each of the past three years. He came in as a top-five right tackle in 2020, providing all the more reason for the Panthers to retain him. The Panthers are planning to pursue Deshaun Watson and will be linked to first-round quarterbacks with their No. 8 overall pick. With their left tackle situation uncertain, ensuring one of their edge blockers remains under contract will be critical for the 2021 season.

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Contract Talks Ongoing Between Panthers, RT Taylor Moton

Panthers right tackle Taylor Moton has three years of service time, which means he is eligible for an extension. He is entering the final year of his rookie contract, and Carolina would like to keep him off the open market next year.

Per David Newton of ESPN.com, the club and Moton’s camp are engaged in ongoing contract negotiations, but nothing is imminent at this time. Moton, a Western Michigan product, was selected by the Panthers in the second round of the 2017 draft.

He became a full-time starter in his sophomore campaign. He opened the 2018 season at left tackle in place of the injured Matt Kalil, but he quickly shifted over to right tackle after the Panthers signed Chris Clark to fill the LT spot. Moton has been the starting RT ever since.

He will celebrate his 26th birthday on Tuesday, and he has quietly established himself as a dependable force on the Panthers’ offensive front. Pro Football Focus’ advanced metrics considered him a top-20 tackle in 2019, and PFF was especially fond of his pass-blocking abilities.

The rebuilding Panthers have seen a mass exodus of veteran talent this offseason, but Moton certainly qualifies as a foundational piece that could be part of the next competitive Carolina club. If player and team are able to come to terms at some point soon, it would not be surprising to see Moton land a deal similar to Ja’Wuan James‘ four-year, $51MM pact with the Broncos.

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South Rumors: Conklin, Colts, Panthers

As expected, the Titans placed Jack Conklin on the PUP list at the outset of training camp. The third-year right tackle tore an ACL in Tennessee’s divisional-round loss to New England in mid-January. Given that barely six months have passed, this could be expected. Mike Vrabel said this was a possibility as his team concluded minicamp, and Conklin confirmed this was a methodical process.

Here’s the latest from the Titans, along with some of their top rivals.

  • Tennessee also placed tight end Phillip Supernaw on the PUP list while also slotting second-round pick Rashaan Evans and free agent wideout addition Michael Campanaro on the non-football illness list. The Titans’ rookies and quarterbacks opened camp Sunday, and each of these players is eligible to be reinstated for full work by the time full practices begin Thursday.
  • Titans linebacker Kevin Dodd wound up on the reserve/did not report list.
  • The Colts added multiple veterans up front this offseason, with Matt Slauson and Austin Howard now in the mix for starting roles as stopgaps. Indianapolis boasts some depth at guard now with Slauson, the recently re-signed Jack Mewhort and No. 6 overall pick Quenton Nelson on the roster. Mewhort’s re-up and the Slauson addition, though, did not deter the Colts from selecting Braden Smith in the second round. The franchise’s goal is for Smith, an Auburn alum, to be the long-term starter at right guard opposite Nelson, Stephen Holder of the Indianapolis Star notes. Though, Holder cautions his development figures to take longer than Nelson’s. Once entrenched as a Colts guard starter and a candidate for a long-term extension, Mewhort suffered significant injury setbacks in 2016 and ’17 to limit him to a one-year, $1.5MM deal with just $300K guaranteed. Slauson is signed for one year and $2.5MM. One member of this tandem could begin the season in an unfamiliar backup role.
  • It looks like Denico Autry has a path toward either a full-time starting role or a prominent backup job with the Colts. Chris Ballard raved about the defensive end/tackle’s skill set this weekend. “Let me tell you the one you need to watch: It’s Autry,” Ballard said. “Denico Autry is legitimate. He’s long; he’s strong; he’s passionate. I am really excited to watch him play. He’s made up of all the right stuff.” Autry (career-high five sacks last season) served as a rotational player with the Raiders, lining up as an end and a tackle during his four-year run in Oakland.
  • A host of players are vying to replace Andrew Norwell on the Panthers‘ starting line. Amini Silatolu, Taylor Moton and former Viking Jeremiah Sirles are among them, with Jordan Rodrigue of the Charlotte Observer noting Ron Rivera has expressed optimism about the prospect Silatolu can man the first-string post opposite Trai Turner. Silatolu started 15 Panthers games as a rookie in 2012 but hasn’t been a first-stringer on more than three occasions in a season since 2014. Rodrigue adds that Moton may be the top challenger but may also be used as a tackle and be in line to succeed Daryl Williams in the event he follows Norwell’s path as a UFA defection in 2019.

Panthers Sign Entire Draft Class

The Panthers have signed their entire 2017 draft class. One day after inking first-round selection Christian McCaffrey, all seven Carolina draft picks are now officially in the fold:

Elder and Butker were the last to agree, but they put pen to paper after Friday morning’s rookie camp session. As shown in PFR’s team-by-team draft breakdown, the Panthers are the first team to sign their entire draft class.

According to Lance Zierlein of NFL.com, Samuel’s game is reminiscent of Oregon product Josh Huff. Opinions are split on how this well-rounded receiver’s game will translate as a pro.

It’s kind of like with Jalin Marshall last year,” a regional scout told Zierlein. “How do you use him? He’s not a running back and his routes and hands really aren’t that good. Marshall went undrafted. Samuel is a better athlete but they are about the same size and give you the same concerns with how to use them.”

According to Albert Breer of The MMQB (Twitter link), there is offset language in McCaffrey’s deal.