Player News - Panthers

Date: Team: Pos:

Bene Benwikere (leg) has taken the Panthers' trio of rookie cornerbacks under his wing.

Benwikere was not able to participate in the offseason program as he recovers from a broken leg, but that did not stop him from helping out the youngsters. "I get to go through individuals with them, get to do walk-throughs with them," Benwikere said. "When we’re watching film, there’s a lot of things I can show them that happened to me previously, especially Zack (Sanchez) playing nickel." Benwikere is only entering his third year, but he is the veteran leader of the corner group following the departures of Josh Norman and Charles Tillman. With rookies all around him, the Panthers need Benwikere to take a step forward this season.
Jun 21 - 9:38 AM

Luke Kuechly (shoulder) is expected to be ready for training camp.

Kuechly was limited to individual drills during OTAs. Four months removed from labrum surgery, there’s not any concern over his status. Kuechly should be 100 percent for the start of camp.
Jun 18 - 2:42 PM

Coach Ron Rivera said CB Bene Benwikere (leg) is on track for training camp.

The Panthers are likely to limit him early after missing the entire offseason. Benwikere and Robert McClain are penciled in as Carolina’s starters in base sets, with rookies James Bradberry and Daryl Worley competing for nickel snaps.
Jun 18 - 2:40 PM

Panthers WRs coach Ricky Proehl said Stephen Hill "would have pushed for a starting job" before tearing his ACL in training camp last year.

Proehl said Hill was so impressive at spring workouts and early in camp that he was "ready to make me famous as a coach." "Unbelievable," Proehl said. "That’s how well he was performing in camp last year." Cam Newton also mentioned how Hill's ACL tear was a "big deal" for the team following the season. Although the mere mention of his name elicits eyerolls in the fantasy community, size-speed freak Hill is a player to keep in mind for the summer.
Source: ESPN.com
Jun 18 - 1:16 PM

Panthers signed LT Michael Oher to a three-year, $21.6 million extension through 2019.

Oher gets $9.5 million guaranteed. The subject of the movie "Blind Side" as a decorated Ole Miss player, Oher's career has experienced some wild ups and downs. He was the 23rd overall pick by the Ravens in the 2009 draft and started five years in Baltimore mostly as a liability at right tackle. The Ravens expressed no interest in re-signing him before Oher took $6 million from the Titans in 2014 only to last one season and be cut. The Panthers took a flier at $3.5 million per year, and Oher graded out as a top-15 pass-blocking tackle at PFF, though he finished 76th as a run blocker. Oher turned 30 this past April.
Jun 17 - 9:02 AM

According to the Charlotte Observer, UDFA Panthers WR Keyarris Garrett "failed to make any standout plays during minicamp."

Garrett rather surprisingly went undrafted after leading the nation in receiving last season. Standing in at 6-foot-3, 220 pounds, Garrett tore up the Combine, and has called himself the best receiver in this year's class. Evidently there's a reason he went undrafted. Making the adjustment from Tulsa as a soon-to-be 24-year-old rookie, Garrett has a lot of work to do to earn a 53-man roster spot.
Jun 16 - 5:38 PM

Panthers signed coach Ron Rivera to a one-year extension through 2018.

The deal is reportedly worth "more than $6 million" per year, and makes Rivera one of the 10 highest-paid coaches in the league. It's actually a bit underwhelming for a coach coming off three straight division championships and a 15-1 Super Bowl season. A bigger extension could be in order if 2016 goes anything like 2015.
Jun 16 - 3:45 PM

Coach Ron Rivera confirmed he expects Kelvin Benjamin (ACL) to be ready for training camp.

Benjamin has been limited to individual drills at minicamp. He's still getting back into football shape, but will be fully cleared next month. Benjamin's ADP is currently in the mid-third round.
Jun 16 - 11:55 AM

Cam Newton "hasn't looked particularly sharp" at OTAs, according to the Charlotte Observer.

Newton might be a little fatigued after a busy offseason that included a trip to the White House and filming a children's show for Nickelodeon. He'll have a month of training camp to shake off the rust and get back to where he was last season. Cam outscored the next-best fantasy quarterback by 50 standard league points in 2015. Kelvin Benjamin returns to his arsenal this season.
Jun 14 - 10:30 AM

According to Bill Voth of Black and Blue Review, "the sense inside the building" is that Panthers GM Dave Gettleman "won't go much more than $15 million per season" in contract talks with DT Kawann Short.

Fletcher Cox set the market for interior defenders with a six-year, $103 million extension worth at least $63 million guaranteed. Cox's deal averages over $17 million annually, higher than Gettleman is willing to go with Short. The second-team All-Pro arrived at mandatory minicamp Monday after skipping OTAs. Gettleman may need to up the ante to get Short locked up before training camp.
Jun 14 - 8:27 AM

The Charlotte Observer called second-year WR Devin Funchess "the star of OTAs."

With Kelvin Benjamin coming off a torn ACL and only role-player receivers behind him, the Panthers could really use a sophomore leap from Funchess. Per beat writer Joe Person, Funchess showed "terrific hands" over the middle in spring practices and "has looked more fluid in his routes." Still only 22 years old, Funchess has sneaky re-draft upside at the cost of a late-round pick.
Jun 13 - 5:08 PM

Panthers contract-year DT Kawann Short reported to mandatory minicamp on Monday.

Short sat out OTAs while campaigning for a new contract but wasn't willing to risk the $76,000 fine for skipping minicamp. The 27-year-old is coming off a breakout year that included his first All-Pro selection. The Panthers can afford to sign him to a new deal after rescinding Josh Norman's franchise tag.
Jun 13 - 11:48 AM

Panthers DE Ryan Delaire is recovering from offseason shoulder surgery to repair a torn labrum.

Delaire was signed off the Redskins' practice squad last September and recorded two sacks in his debut against the Bucs only to net a half-sack the rest of the way. Coach Ron Rivera hopes Delaire can become a more prominent part of the rotation this season. He should be ready for the start of camp.
Jun 8 - 9:31 AM

Panthers signed P Mike Scifres, formerly of the Chargers.

He'll compete with Swayze Waters for Carolina's punting job. Once one of the NFL's top punters, Scifres' career has been derailed by injury. Still only 35 -- which is young for a punter -- Scifres will get a shot to revive his career under Ron Rivera, who formerly spent time on San Diego's coaching staff.
Jun 7 - 6:42 PM

The Charlotte Observer reports Jonathan Stewart is still dealing with soreness after injuring his foot in the Super Bowl.

Stewart missed the final three regular-season games with a sprained left foot and reinjured the foot in the Super Bowl. "That foot just kind of lingered after he got bent over backwards in the Super Bowl," coach Ron Rivera said. "We’re really trying to be smart with that and I wouldn’t say it’s 100 percent, but it’s almost there." It sounds like Stewart should be ready for training camp, but it is concerning the injury has lingered this long. 29 and with a long injury history, it would not be surprising if Stewart missed more time this season.
Jun 7 - 3:40 PM


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