Carolina Panthers

Carolina Panthers

Player News - Panthers

Date: Team: Pos:

Panthers selected Auburn RB Cameron Artis-Payne with the No. 174 overall pick in the 2015 NFL draft.

Artis-Payne (5'10/212) spent two seasons at Auburn after transferring from JUCO, rushing for 2,218 yards and 19 TDs on 394 carries (5.63 YPC). He was the leading rusher in the SEC in 2014, but only caught 14 passes in college. Artis-Payne ran a respectable 4.53 forty at the Combine, but showed limited lower-body explosion (9'10" broad jump) and agility (7.13 20-yard shuttle). Tight hipped, already 25 years old and short on burst with little to offer in the passing game, Artis-Payne is a grinder who projects as a backup.
May 2 - 3:26 PM

Panthers selected Texas State ILB David Mayo with the No. 169 overall pick in the 2015 NFL draft.

The Sun Belt Defensive Player of the Year in 2014, Mayo (6'1/235) ranked second in the entire country with 154 tackles. Mayo posted a 4.74 40 at his Pro Day, and managed 24 reps on the bench to go along with a 34.5-inch vertical. Mayo will have to earn his keep on special teams, but could eventually play himself into a role on defense.
May 2 - 3:15 PM

Panthers traded up to select Oklahoma OT Daryl Williams with the No. 102 overall pick in the 2015 NFL draft.

The Panthers gave up pick No. 124, plus 161 and 242. Williams (6'5/327) made 37 starts for the Sooners, primarily manning right tackle. He was a consensus first-team All-Big 12 pick as a senior, allowing zero sacks. Long armed (35") and a highly physical, competitive run blocker on tape, Williams has been compared to Vikings RT Phil Loadholt by CBS Sports' Dane Brugler. Athletic limitations (5.34 forty, 26-inch vertical) may cause Williams problems as an NFL pass protector, but he has the traits of a starting right tackle.
May 2 - 12:18 PM

Panthers traded up to draft Michigan WR Devin Funchess with the No. 41 overall pick in the 2015 NFL draft.

The Panthers gave picks 57, 89 and 201 to the Rams for the right to move up 16 spots. Funchess (6'4/232) shuttled between tight end and receiver at Michigan, parlaying 126 grabs into 1,715 yards (13.6 YPR) with 15 TDs. Long armed (33 1/2") and exceptionally young for a rookie, Funchess won't turn 21 until May 21. Funchess has drawn Kelvin Benjamin comparisons, but on the field lacks Benjamin's aggressive "my-ball" mentality, instead showing passivity and a frustratingly low football IQ. He displayed zero run-after-catch ability in 2014, frequently getting ankle tackled by sub-200-pound defensive backs. Funchess is an enigma, albeit one with upside from a size-athleticism standpoint. He ran 4.47/4.53 at the Wolverines' Pro Day and has a 38 1/2-inch vertical. The Panthers will try to install him opposite Benjamin as a twin towers kind of duo for oft-erratic thrower Cam Newton.
May 1 - 7:49 PM

When asked if adding Shaq Thompson will affect Thomas Davis' Panthers future, GM Dave Gettleman said "absolutely not."

The Panthers drafted a Davis clone in Thompson at the 25th pick. But instead of choosing one over the other, Carolina envisions Thompson and Davis teaming up to create one of the fastest linebacking groups in the league. Along with Luke Kuechly, the Panthers can wreak havoc on opposing tight ends now that they have three linebackers who are all strong in coverage.
May 1 - 8:25 AM

Panthers selected Washington LB Shaq Thompson with the No. 25 overall pick in the 2015 NFL draft.

Thompson (6'0/228) earned the 2014 Paul Hornung Award as the nation's most versatile player, finishing his three-year career with 15 tackles for loss, three forced fumbles, and five interceptions. Thompson scored six TDs in 2014, including three on fumble returns and two at running back. He ran 4.64 with a 33 1/2-inch vertical and 9-foot-9 broad jump at the Combine. Not athletic enough for safety and small for linebacker, Thompson is a tweener prospect who may open his career as a dime defender in Carolina's sub-packages. GM Dave Gettleman likely views Thompson as SLB Thomas Davis' long-term heir apparent.
Apr 30 - 10:47 PM

Panthers exercised MLB Luke Kuechly's fifth-year option, valued at $11.1 million.

He's now under contract through 2016. Kuechly, 24, has been Panthers’ every-down middle linebacker the last three seasons. The option year buys Carolina time in long-term talks. A two-time All Pro, Kuechly will eventually top Texans ILB Brian Cushing's six-year, $55.64 million contract.
Apr 25 - 4:12 PM

Kelvin Benjamin admitted he got mentally fatigued during his rookie year.

It's not a surprise. Benjamin was one of last year's more raw wideout prospects, yet was tasked with the job of being his team's No. 1 target right away. There were some downs but a plenty of ups and the Panthers wisely stuck with him for the whole journey. When the dust settled, Benjamin overcame the fatigue to finish with 73-1,008-9 as fantasy's No. 17 WR. He should have more stamina in Year 2.
Apr 20 - 12:18 PM

Panthers SLB Thomas Davis confirms he and the team are working on a contract extension.

Davis' contract is set to expire after this season. He's currently scheduled to count $9.9 million against the cap. Davis, 32, has already said he'll only play for the Panthers after they stuck by him through his thrice-torn ACL. He's rebounded well, grading out as PFF's No. 5-ranked 4-3 outside linebacker in 2014.
Apr 17 - 9:36 AM

The Charlotte Observer expects Charles Tillman to start opposite Josh Norman.

Tillman is expected to play the outside in base sets, with Bene Benwikere moving to the slot. Entering his age-34 season, Tillman should improve the Panthers' secondary if he can stay healthy. Injuries have limited Tillman to 10 games over the last two seasons.
Apr 11 - 5:17 PM

Panthers agreed to terms with CB Peanut Tillman, formerly of the Bears, on a one-year contract.

The 34-year-old is reuniting with ex-Bears DC Ron Rivera. Tillman played for Rivera three of his first four years in the league. Tillman was one of the league's very best corners in 2012, but biceps injuries have limited him to just 10 combined appearances over the past two seasons. Snaps will be there for the taking in Carolina's malleable secondary, but Tillman will have to stay healthy before anything else. His age and injury history mean his spot on the 53-man roster is not assured. All 156 of Tillman's NFL games have come in a Bears uniform.
Apr 9 - 3:55 PM

ESPN's Adam Caplan reports free agent CB Peanut Tillman is expected to sign with the Panthers following Thursday's visit.

Tillman would be reuniting his old Bears defensive boss in Ron Rivera. Now 34 and coming off two injury-ruined seasons, Tillman would be little more than a flier for the value-conscious Panthers.
Apr 9 - 3:31 PM

The Panthers will host free agent Charles Tillman on Thursday.

"Peanut" is tight with Ron Rivera from their Bears days together, and suits GM Dave Gettleman's profile as a reclamation project who will likely take a cheap, one-year deal. Beset by triceps injuries, Tillman has played in just 10 games the past two seasons. He turned 34 years old this past February.
Apr 8 - 10:05 PM

Panthers signed LB Jason Trusnik, formerly of the Dolphins, to a one-year contract.

An eight-year veteran, Trusnik played both inside and out for the Dolphins last season, logging 397 snaps. He appeared in all 16 games, making six starts. He'll be a run-stopping specialist and special teamer in Carolina.
Mar 31 - 3:20 PM

Panthers signed RB Jordan Todman, formerly of the Jaguars, to a one-year contract.

Todman didn't get a restricted free agent tender from the Jags even though they only have Denard Robinson and Toby Gerhart atop their depth chart. So Todman will fight for a roster spot in Carolina, where they'll continue to add backs behind Jonathan Stewart. Todman, a bit undersized at 5-10/198, does bring some added value as a solid primary kick return candidate.
Mar 30 - 12:31 PM


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