Player News - Panthers

Date: Team: Pos:

Panthers QBs coach Ken Dorsey interviewed for the Bills' vacant offensive coordinator position.

Dorsey flamed out in the NFL after a successful college career quarterbacking Miami's juggernauts in the early-2000s, but he has earned a name for himself as a position coach in four seasons with the Panthers. Coach Sean McDermott obviously knows Dorsey from their time together in Carolina, and he seems like the only real candidate for the job at this point. It would not be surprising if he lands it.
Jan 19 - 10:20 AM

Panthers signed DB Dezmen Southward to a reserve/future contract.

A third-round pick by the Falcons in 2014, Southward attempted a switch to corner after his rookie season but was ultimately waived midway through 2015. The Panthers listed him as a safety upon signing, so he may be switching back. Southward will compete for a bottom of the roster spot over the summer.
Jan 14 - 1:08 PM

Panthers K Graham Gano underwent surgery to repair a broken bone in his plant foot.

Gano was able to play through the injury the final three weeks, but he indicated after the season he would need surgery. It is unclear how long he will be out, but it would be a surprise if he is sidelined into training camp.
Jan 14 - 11:10 AM

The Panthers are expected to run a similar scheme under DC Steve Wilks.

The Panthers aren't going to change much defensively after losing Sean McDermott, who ran a version of Ron Rivera's 4-3. "This wasn’t Sean’s defense. This was our defense," Wilks said. "We all had a hand in it. We’re not going to change anything from a standpoint of scheme-wise." The Panthers are coming off a down season but played better down the stretch. With corners James Bradberry and Daryl Worley on the rise and a healthy Luke Kuechly, Carolina should be an improved defense in 2017.
Jan 13 - 7:07 PM

Panthers promoted Steve Wilks to defensive coordinator.

Wilks interviewed for the Rams’ head coaching job last week. He's been Carolina's secondary coach the past five seasons and will be Sean McDermott's in-house replacement. Perry Fewell is expected to take over for Wilks.
Jan 11 - 6:56 PM

ESPN Panthers reporter David Newton "could see a scenario" where Carolina releases Jonathan Stewart this offseason.

Stewart has two years left on his contract and will turn 30 in March. He's coming off three-year lows in rushing yards (824) and YPC (3.8), but Stewart ran behind an injury-ravaged line, still scored nine touchdowns, and ran extremely hard, finishing third in Pro Football Focus' elusive rating, which factors in broken tackles. Stewart has missed three games each of the last three seasons. Carolina could save $6.25 million against the cap by making Stewart a post-June 1 cut.
Jan 11 - 9:28 AM

Panthers WLB Shaq Thompson is expected to have a bigger role in 2017.

Thompson played extended snaps with Luke Kuechly missing the final six games. He graded out positively in coverage at PFF, and managed at least one pressure in each of the last four weeks. Thompson is locked in as Carolina's weak side starter and could stay on the field in nickel packages opposite Kuechly next season.
Jan 7 - 2:31 PM

Panthers GM Dave Gettleman said he has "no concerns" about Luke Kuechly's health.

Kuechly suffered his second serious concussion in as many seasons Week 11 and was held out the rest of the year despite clearing the concussion protocol. It appears the Panthers were just playing it safe with their defensive star, and Kuechly should be ready to go for the offseason program. Still, his history with concussions will continue to be a big concern moving forward.
Jan 3 - 11:11 AM

Impending free agent DT Kawann Short said he "would like to avoid" the franchise tag.

"If it happens, it happens," Short added. "I need to be professional about the whole situation." Every player would like to land a long-term deal and avoid the tag, but that might not be possible in this situation. Short is likely looking for a deal near the $17 million per Fletcher Cox landed from the Eagles, and the Panthers were reportedly not willing to go over $15 million annually last summer. Like with Josh Norman last offseason, the Panthers could be headed toward an extended standoff with one of their top defensive players. For what it is worth, Short did say he would sign the franchise tender if it came to that, but a report was quickly leaked to Pro Football Talk walking that comment back.
Jan 3 - 10:50 AM

Panthers signed WR Keyarris Garrett, OT Blaine Clausell, DT Eric Crume, CB Tyler Patmon, RB Jalen Simmons, TE Scott Simonson, OT Pearce Slater, OT Tyrus Thompson and TE Eric Wallace to reserve/future contracts.

A buzzed-about UDFA, Garrett spent 2016 on the practice squad. Standing in at 6-foot-3, 215 pounds, Garrett blew up the Combine and was extremely productive at Tulsa. He'll get another long look this summer.
Jan 2 - 3:11 PM

Greg Olsen caught 3-of-4 passes for 22 yards in Week 17 against the Bucs.

Olsen led the Panthers in receiving for the fourth straight year. He finished with a 80/1,073/3 line, becoming the first tight end in history with 1,000 yards in three consecutive seasons. Olsen saw a big drop in his touchdowns with the return of Kelvin Benjamin. That should change if Cam Newton rebounds after a career-worst year. Olsen is locked in as a top-five tight end for 2017.
Jan 1 - 5:30 PM

Ted Ginn caught 4-of-7 passes for 69 yards in Week 17 against the Bucs.

Ginn did not have the highs of his 2015 season this year, but he was a surprisingly consistent fantasy option as the de facto No. 1 receiver down the stretch. He only found the end zone four times after visiting the painted area 10 times last year, but he caught 10 more passes and recorded 51 more total yards. Even turning 32 in April, Ginn should see interest on the free agent market if the Panthers let him get there.
Jan 1 - 5:11 PM

Kelvin Benjamin caught 6-of-7 targets for 93 yards and a touchdown in Week 17 against the Bucs.

It's the second straight week Benjamin found the end-zone after going without a TD in seven of his last eight games. Benjamin never looked fully healthy this year and faded in the second half, but should benefit from a full offseason. He's locked in as the Panthers’ No. 1 wideout option for 2017.
Jan 1 - 5:04 PM

Jonathan Stewart rushed 20 times for 65 yards and a touchdown in Week 17 against the Bucs.

Stewart managed a solid finish to the season after struggling with injuries early. His nine touchdowns were his most since 2009, but he averaged only 3.8 YPC. Stewart has been in decline the last three years and is one of the least durable backs in the league. He'll be someone to avoid in fantasy drafts entering his age-30 season.
Jan 1 - 4:44 PM

Cam Newton completed 18-of-32 passes for 237 yards, a touchdown, and three interceptions in Week 17 against the Bucs.

It caps off a career-worst year for Newton. Newton didn't miss any games with his shoulder injury, but it clearly impacted his ball placement more than the Panthers let on. He finishes the season with 3,509 yards and a 19:14 TD/INT ratio, rushing for just 359 yards and five touchdowns. Newton should rebound in 2017, but is at risk of becoming more of a pocket passer as he enters the middle of his career.
Jan 1 - 4:22 PM

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