Panthers Still Considering Re-Signing QB Cam Newton

The Panthers are still monitoring the Cam Newton situation. After having been connected to the veteran quarterback throughout the offseason, Panthers general manager Scott Fitterer said that the front office is keeping “lines of communication” with the QB’s camp.

“I think we’re still having thoughts,” Fitterer said during an appearance on PFTPM (passed along by Mike Florio of ProFootballTalk.com). “We have to see how this works out here throughout the spring. I just happened to be up at the [Kentucky] Derby last weekend and Cam was up there. We’re texting a little bit. The lines of communication are open. I know Coach Rhule has spoken with him. We are going to have a discussion at some point but we’re just not quite there yet, but we’ll see how it goes. The more competition we have at that position the better.”

Newton always seemed like a fallback option for the organization. Even after losing out in the Deshaun Watson sweepstakes, the organization has still been connected to the likes of Baker Mayfield and Jimmy Garoppolo. There’s a good chance that the Panthers will wait out both of those situations before committing to Newton, and the former MVP’s return to Carolina would surely be contingent on the organization not adding another veteran at the position.

In nine seasons in Charlotte from 2011 to 2019, Newton earned two Pro Bowls and led the team to a Super Bowl after a 15-1 campaign in 2015. His production has tailed off considerably since then, however. After getting cut by the Patriots following an underwhelming one-year stint in New England, Newton caught on with the Panthers in November. He ended up getting into eight games (five starts) for Carolina, completing 54.8 percent of his passes for 684 yards, four touchdowns, and four interceptions. He added another 230 rushing yards and five scores on 47 carries.

At the moment, former third-overall pick Sam Darnold leads the Panthers depth chart, although the organization did add some competition at the position after drafting Matt Corral in the third round of the draft. The team is also still rostering P.J. Walker, who’s won both of his starts across two seasons with the team.

Minor NFL Transactions: 5/12/22

Today’s minor NFL transactions:

Arizona Cardinals

Carolina Panthers

Chicago Bears

  • Released: WR Cyrus Holder, WR Henry Litwin

Detroit Lions

Las Vegas Raiders

Broncos Sign 13 Undrafted Free Agents

The Broncos have been busy signing their draft picks in recent days, but that didn’t stop the front office from adding 13 undrafted free agents to their roster:

Allen got a chunk of money to join Denver, earning $180K in guaranteed money (per Aaron Wilson of ProFootballNetwork.com on Twitter). The linebacker had a productive collegiate career, earning two National Championships during his time at Alabama. He also earned a second-team All-SEC nod in 2020 after finishing with 24 tackles and six sacks. He missed his entire rookie season after suffering a broken foot, leading to him going undrafted.

Meanwhile, Mike Klis of 9News in Denver tweets that McMillian got $75K, while Mauga got $60K guaranteed (Twitter link).

Falcons Sign First-Round WR Drake London

The Falcons first-round pick has officially signed his contract. The team announced that they’ve signed receiver Drake London to his rookie pact. The first four years of London’s contract are fully guaranteed.

London was the first receiver off the board after the Falcons used the No. 8 pick on the USC product. This feat came despite London appearing in only eight games this past season, as a fractured ankle ended his season prematurely. London still put up impressive numbers, reeling in 88 receptions for 1,084 yards and 7 touchdowns. Before he missed any time, he led the NCAA in receiving yards, contested catches (19), and missed tackles (22) and was the highest-graded receiver according to Pro Football Focus.

At the time of his injury, London was widely considered a top wide receiver in college football, and the injury clearly did nothing to impact his draft stock. Fortunately, the wideout didn’t suffer any ligament damage, so his recovery and future outlook are both promising.

The Falcons offense will look a whole lot different next season with Matt Ryan no longer in Atlanta. Veteran Marcus Mariota will replace him under center, and London should instantly be one of his preferred targets, especially with Calvin Ridley suspended. The Falcons used their 2021 first-round pick on tight end Kyle Pitts, and the offensive weapons should highlight Atlanta’s offense for years to come.

The Falcons have now inked half of their draft picks to contracts after signing running back Tyler Allgeier (fifth round), offensive guard Justin Shaffer (sixth round), and tight end John FitzPatrick (sixth round).

Broncos WR Jerry Jeudy Arrested

6:20pm: Jeudy did not commit domestic violence, Arapahoe County Sheriff Tyler Brown said, calling the charge a “very low misdemeanor.” The incident involved only property, via CBS4’s Michael Spencer (Twitter links).

The domestic violence-related charge was issued because the woman involved is the mother of Jeudy’s one-month-old child, via Mike Klis of 9News (Twitter link). The woman involved accused Jeudy of withholding medical records, her wallet and the baby’s car seat, Klis tweets. Jeudy accused the woman of taking one of his three phones, Ryan O’Halloran of the Denver Post adds (on Twitter). Jeudy went into police custody without incident and will meet with a judge Friday morning, Spencer tweets.

3:44pm: Broncos wide receiver Jerry Jeudy was arrested and booked into the Arapahoe County (Colo.) Detention Center this afternoon, authorities announced. The third-year wideout is being held on a no-bond hold, according to the Arapahoe Sheriff (Twitter link).

Authorities have charged Jeudy with second-degree criminal tampering with a domestic violence enhancer. In Colorado, that means tampering with another’s property with the intent to cause “injury, inconvenience, or annoyance to that person or to another.” Jeudy can be released from jail upon approval from a judge, with Tom Pelissero of NFL.com noting such a meeting is likely to occur within the next 24 hours (Twitter link). He was arrested around noon Thursday.

This is not a felony charge, with Aaron Wilson of ProFootballNetwork.com noting (via Twitter) it is a Class 2 misdemeanor that carries a punishment of a $1K fine and up to a year in prison. It still will fall under the purview of the NFL’s personal conduct policy, which could result in a Jeudy suspension at some point.

Jeudy, 23, came to the Broncos as a first-round pick in 2020. He led the team in receiving as a rookie and posted 467 receiving yards in an injury-shortened 2021 season. The Alabama alum is expected to be a central part of the Broncos’ first Russell Wilson-led offense this season.

NFL Draft Pick Signings: 5/12/22

Thursday has featured several rookie deals finalized. Here are the mid- and late-round draftees to sign their four-year contracts today:

Arizona Cardinals

Atlanta Falcons

Buffalo Bills

Cleveland Browns

Dallas Cowboys

Denver Broncos

  • WR Montrell Washington (fifth round, Samford)

Detroit Lions

Houston Texans

Jacksonville Jaguars

  • RB Snoop Conner (fifth round, Ole Miss)
  • CB Gregory Junior (sixth round, Ouachita Baptist)
  • CB Montaric Brown (seventh round, Arkansas)

Las Vegas Raiders

Miami Dolphins

Minnesota Vikings

Tampa Bay Buccaneers

Tennessee Titans

Jaguars Sign Round 1 LB Devin Lloyd

The Jaguars made a tremendous commitment to their off-ball linebacker positions this offseason. The highest-profile addition is now under contract.

First-round pick Devin Lloyd agreed to terms on his rookie deal Thursday, Aaron Wilson of ProFootballNetwork.com tweets. The No. 27 overall pick, Lloyd will score a fully guaranteed rookie contract — one that can run through 2026, via the fifth-year option. The Utah product, for whom the Jags traded up six spots (via the Buccaneers) to land, will earn more than $13MM on his rookie pact.

Jacksonville now has both its first-round picks under contract, having signed No. 1 overall choice Travon Walker earlier Thursday. Lloyd figures to be fast-tracked to the Jags’ starting lineup. The team made Myles Jack a cap casualty and will have a third defensive coordinator in three years (Mike Caldwell). The Jags paid up for ex-Falcons starter Foyesade Oluokun, giving the productive linebacker a three-year deal worth $45MM, and then drafted Wyoming linebacker Chad Muma in Round 3. It is safe to say the Jags viewed this position as a weakness entering the offseason.

Lloyd delivered a dominant senior season with the Utes, recording 111 tackles and registering seven sacks. He added four interceptions and 22 tackles for loss, offering up Micah Parsons-type versatility. Lloyd also tallied 6.5 sacks as a sophomore in 2019. It remains to be seen if Lloyd will be capable of a Parsons-esque NFL debut, but a Jags Lloyd-Oluokun three-down linebacker pairing presents the opportunity for a major upgrade from recent years.

Lions Sign Round 1 WR Jameson Williams

Jameson Williams agreed to terms on his fully guaranteed rookie contract Thursday, per NFL.com’s Ian Rapoport (on Twitter). The Lions now have both their 2022 first-rounders signed, after having inked No. 2 overall pick Aidan Hutchinson to his rookie deal earlier this week.

The No. 12 overall pick, Williams will be tied to his rookie deal for at least three seasons and can be under Lions control through 2026 (via the fifth-year option). He is set to earn around $17.5MM on this contract.

Detroit traded its Nos. 32 and 34 picks to Minnesota to climb up for Williams, who zoomed onto the draft radar after his dominant season at Alabama. Williams joins DJ Chark as key offseason receiver additions for a Lions team that featured one of the NFL’s worst wideout situations in 2021.

Playing behind the likes of Garrett Wilson and Chris Olave at Ohio State, Williams transferred to an Alabama squad that had just lost DeVonta Smith and Jaylen Waddle. The Crimson Tide put the slender speedster to work immediately, and Williams posted a monster season — 79 receptions, 1,572 yards, 15 touchdowns — as a junior to help the SEC powerhouse to another national championship game.

The torn ACL Williams suffered in that loss to Georgia did not impact his draft stock much, but the 179-pound pass catcher is expected to begin the season on the PUP list. Many NFL evaluators expect Williams to be out until November, via Jeremy Fowler of ESPN.com, though the rebuilding Lions are likely fine playing the long game with the recovering prospect.

In addition to signing Williams, the Lions and third-round safety Kerby Joseph agreed on the terms of his rookie contract. The Lions took Jones 97th overall out of Illinois. His four-year deal is worth just more than $5MM, Dave Birkett of the Detroit Free Press notes.

Steelers Conduct Second GM Interviews With Brandon Hunt, Omar Khan

The Steelers’ thorough general manager search has seen a few outside candidates receive second interviews. Ryan Cowden (Titans), John Spytek, Andy Weidl (Eagles) and former Bills GM Doug Whaley have met with the Steelers twice about their GM vacancy.

The team still has two of its own staffers as candidates, however. Omar Khan and Brandon Hunt have gone through second interviews for Kevin Colbert‘s old job, Tom Pelissero of NFL.com tweets. These two surfaced as the initial candidates for the job and remain in the mix several months later.

Khan, who serves as the Steelers’ vice president of football and business administration, has been with the team since 2001 and has served as a central figure in the team’s contract negotiations. Other teams have reached out to him about their GM vacancies over the past two offseasons. The Bears met with Khan this year, and the Panthers and Texans interviewed him in 2021. Khan was on the doorstep of being hired as Houston’s GM, but the franchise changed course and pivoted back to Nick Caserio at the 11th hour.

Hunt is up for two jobs in Pennsylvania, being in contention for a high-ranking gig in the Eagles’ front office. The Steelers’ pro scouting director, Hunt is in his second stint with the team. He began interning for the team in 2005 and returned in 2010. Hunt also met with the Raiders about their GM vacancy this offseason.

Here is how the Steelers’ expansive GM search looks as of Thursday afternoon:

  • Morocco Brown, college scouting director (Colts): Interviewed
  • Ran Carthon, director of player personnel (49ers): Interviewed
  • Ryan Cowden, vice president of player personnel (Titans): Conducted second interview
  • Ed Dodds, assistant general manager (Colts): Interviewed 2/4
  • Joe Hortiz, director of player personnel (Ravens): Interviewed
  • Brandon Hunt, pro scouting director (Steelers): Conducted second interview
  • Omar Khan, vice president of football and business administration (Steelers): Conducted second interview
  • Dan Morgan, assistant general manager (Panthers): Interviewed
  • Jerry Reese, former general manager (Giants): Interviewed
  • Louis Riddick, former director of pro personnel (Eagles): Interviewed
  • Rick Spielman, former general manager (Vikings): Interviewed
  • John Spytek, director of player personnel (Buccaneers): Conducted second interview
  • Andy Weidl, vice president of player personnel (Eagles): Conducted second interview
  • Doug Whaley, vice president of player personnel (XFL): Conducted second interview
  • John Wojciechowski, co-director of player personnel (Packers): Interviewed
  • JoJo Wooden, director of player personnel (Chargers): Interviewed

2022 NFL General Manager Search Tracker

Along with the head coaches being fired, a few NFL teams are looking for new general managers. Listed below are the GM candidates that have been linked to each of the teams with vacancies, along with their current status.

If and when other teams decide to make GM changes, they’ll be added to this list. Here is the current breakdown:

Updated 5-12-22 (4:14pm CT)

Chicago Bears

Las Vegas Raiders

Minnesota Vikings

New York Giants

Pittsburgh Steelers

NFL News & NFL Rumors