Player News - Panthers

Date: Team: Pos:

When speaking about first-rounder Christian McCaffrey, Panthers GM Dave Gettleman compared him to Hall of Fame RB Curtis Martin.

"It doesn’t happen very often," Gettleman said. "The best tackle-box runner I’ve ever seen is Curtis Martin out of Pitt. Christian is right there with him. Running in that tackle box takes unique vision and unique quickness, and he’s got it. Curtis had it, and he had a great career – a Hall of Fame career – and this kid’s got those kind of skills." That's a lofty comparison. Carolina has talked about "evolving" as an offense all offseason, trying to take some pressure off Cam Newton, and McCaffrey's unique skill set should allow it to happen.
Apr 28 - 9:45 AM

Panthers selected Stanford RB Christian McCaffrey with the No. 8 overall pick of the 2017 NFL draft.

He had been consistently linked with the Panthers over the last couple weeks, and he is a great fit under creative OC Mike Shula. McCaffrey (5’11/202) turned pro after a prolific three-year college career, posting a 632-3,922-21 (6.21 YPC) rushing line with 99 catches and two return TDs. He was the 2015 Pac 12 Offensive Player of the Year before a mildly disappointing 2016 campaign. At the Combine, McCaffrey posted top-four SPARQ results among running backs with a 4.48 forty and position-best 6.57 three-cone time. The top blitz-pickup back in this class, McCaffrey should be an immediate passing-game asset even if he doesn’t project as a 300-carry workhorse. Even with Jonathan Stewart still in Carolina, McCaffrey should immediately contribute in the running game, passing game, and as a returner. He is worth a look with the first overall pick in rookie-only drafts.
Apr 27 - 9:05 PM

Bleacher Report's Jason Cole reports the Broncos have had trade up talks with the Titans, who select at No. 5.

The scuttlebutt has the Broncos eyeing offensive linemen, but that kind of rocket move from No. 20 would likely be with something else in mind. The Titans also own the No. 18 overall pick, which would be a more reasonable move. The Broncos have been connected to Stanford RB Christian McCaffrey most of the offseason, but it's unlikely GM John Elway would mortgage the farm to move up 15 spots for a running back.
Apr 27 - 3:31 PM

ESPN's Adam Schefter reports Stanford RB Christian McCaffrey is "likely" to go in the top 10.

An NFL GM told Schefter that McCaffrey had the best Combine workout he had ever seen. McCaffrey has been most closely connected to the Panthers at No. 8, but a Thursday report suggested it's a "smokescreen." The Jets at No. 6 and Bengals at No. 9 are two other teams picking in the top 10 that need a running back. LSU's Leonard Fournette might be a stronger consideration for Cincinnati than McCaffrey.
Apr 27 - 2:52 PM

"A source with knowledge of the dynamics" believes the Christian McCaffrey to the Panthers at No. 8 chatter is "likely a smokescreen."

Profootballtalk reports McCaffrey's "expected range" is 5-15. The Panthers have been strongly connected to running backs at No. 8, but there's been growing chatter McCaffrey could be gone by then. Basically, seven hours before the draft, no one has any idea what's going to happen. Buckle up.
Apr 27 - 1:02 PM

Speaking with league sources, NFL Network's Daniel Jeremiah came away with the opinion that he "wouldn't be shocked" if Stanford RB Christian McCaffrey is picked before the Panthers' selection at No. 8 overall.

Per Jeremiah, McCaffrey and Temple LB Haason Reddick are two of the "hottest" names in league circles at the moment. McCaffrey has long been connected to the Panthers at No. 8, but his stock continues to soar and it sounds like there's a real possibility he could be the top back off the board. We'd still bet on it being LSU's Leonard Fournette, but McCaffrey likely won't be far behind. "He produces points," Jeremiah's sources said about McCaffrey as the reason teams love him.
Apr 25 - 9:09 PM

ESPN's Todd McShay has heard the Panthers could select Stanford RB Christian McCaffrey with the No. 8 overall pick "even if LSU's Leonard Fournette is still on the board."

McShay notes McCaffrey could help fill the Panthers' need at running back as well as slot receiver, and current WRs coach Lance Taylor was McCaffrey's position coach in college. Either way, it is clear the Panthers are seriously considering adding a running back in the first round, and they seem certain to add a rusher early in the draft. Jonathan Stewart's days as the clear lead back seem to be at an end.
Source: ESPN
Apr 25 - 12:12 PM

Broncos GM John Elway said the team likes Stanford RB Christian McCaffrey "a lot."

Unfortunately for Elway, it is unlikely McCaffrey is still on the board when he gets his first chance to pick at No. 20, but the comment suggests Denver could be the running back's floor. A versatile weapon with the patience and vision to thrive in a three-down role despite a lack of ideal size, a case can be made for McCaffrey as the best running back in this draft. As long as the landing spot cooperates, McCaffrey will be one of a couple players worth a look at 1.01 in rookie drafts.
Source: Denver Post
Apr 24 - 7:12 PM

Panthers GM Dave Gettleman said Cam Newton is "on schedule" in his recovery from shoulder surgery.

Newton underwent arthroscopic surgery on March 30 but should be ready for the start of training camp. He's looking for a bounce-back season after setting career-lows in both quarterback rating (75.8) and completion percentage (52.9) last year.
Apr 21 - 3:18 PM

Luke Kuechly (concussion) is a "full-go" for the offseason program.

Kuechly missed the final six games of the season after suffering a concussion Week 11, but the Panthers were just being cautious late in a lost year. "I got cleared Week 13 or 14, so I was able to practice and things went well," Kuechly said. "Things are continuing to go well, and I’ll be good to go." Despite a positive start to the offseason, concussions could continue to be a concern for Kuechly, who has missed nine games in the last two seasons.
Apr 20 - 10:33 AM

Panthers re-signed LG Andrew Norwell to a one-year, $2.746 million contract.

A 2014 UDFA, Norwell has been an under-the-radar, top-end player at his position since taking over as a starter midway through his rookie season. He was Pro Football Focus' No. 8 guard in both 2015 and 2016. Norwell, 25, could be in line for a contract extension at some point this summer.
Apr 17 - 10:08 AM

Panthers re-signed DT Kawann Short to a five-year, $80 million contract.

At $16 million per year, Short becomes the league's third-highest-paid 4-3 defensive tackle behind Ndamukong Suh and Fletcher Cox. Short was said to be seeking $17-19 million annually. With Short locked up through 2021, the Panthers could be forced to let fellow DT Star Lotulelei walk as a free agent next spring. Carolina used a first-rounder on DT Vernon Butler last year. Short was Pro Football Focus' No. 3 defensive tackle last season behind Aaron Donald and Suh.
Apr 17 - 9:50 AM

Saints coach Sean Payton heaped praise on Stanford RB Christian McCaffrey.

"I’ve got a crystal-clear vision of the player," Payton told MMQB's Peter King in a recent interview. "He’d be like Darren Sproles, Reggie Bush for us, kind of the Joker role." The Saints are looking for a back to complement Mark Ingram and the versatile McCaffrey could certainly fill that role. New Orleans also has interest in LSU's Leonard Fournette, who visited the team on Friday. McCaffrey won't be in play at No. 11 but the Saints could consider him at 32nd overall.
Source: MMQB.com
Apr 14 - 2:50 PM

NFL.com's Ian Rapoport reports the Panthers, Broncos and Redskins "loom" for Stanford RB Christian McCaffrey.

McCaffrey to the Panthers at No. 8 has been the rumor du jour the past few days, while he was previously linked to the Broncos at No. 20. The Redskins at No. 17 are new. There have been multiple recent reports that McCaffrey could go in the top 10, but it still seems a little far-fetched. There's no question all three teams badly need running back help.
Apr 6 - 2:32 PM

NFL Network's Peter Schrager reports "multiple front office execs" have told him Stanford RB Christian McCaffrey has a chance to come off the board in the first ten picks.

NFL Network draft analyst Daniel Jeremiah appears to be on the same page, giving McCaffrey to the Panthers at No. 8 in his latest mock after being told by an NFL executive the running back "really helped himself" in the pre-draft process. Following Dalvin Cook's extremely poor showing at the Combine, McCaffrey likely will be the second running back off the board behind Leonard Fournette.
Apr 6 - 12:24 PM


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