Kelvin Benjamin - WRPosted 8/22/16 12:14pm ET
Carolina Panthers WR Devin Funchess has really impressed wide receivers coach Ricky Proehl this offseason. Proehl said Funchess is playing at a level that is forcing WR Kelvin Benjamin (knee) to keep up and get better. 'To be honest with you, where Devin is right now and where Kelvin needs to get to, I think Devin is pushing Kelvin,' Proehl said. 'He's realizing, 'I've got to get back, I've got to push, because [Funchess] is pretty dang good.' Proehl did admit that Benjamin is still fully recovering from his torn anterior cruciate ligament, however.
Huddle Up: Benjamin and Funchess seem destined for a dynamic 1-2 punch in 2016, as long as they can stay on the field. The Panthers have no shortage of big targets near the end zone, including Benjamin and Funchess. Benjamin looked good in his first preseason action last week. He's a WR2 option, while Funchess is still more of a low-end WR3 to high-end WR4 consideration.
Greg Olsen - TEPosted 8/22/16 12:51pm ET
Carolina Panthers TE Greg Olsen (back) returned to practice Monday, Aug. 22. The extent of Olsen's participation was not disclosed.
Huddle Up: Aside from Cam Newton, Olsen is arguably the most valuable offensive player the Panthers have, so this is great news for Carolina and Olsen owners. As long as he doesn't suffer any setbacks leading up to the regular season, he's a top-five tight end on any draft board.
Greg Olsen - TEPosted 8/20/16 12:01pm ET
Carolina Panthers TEs Greg Olsen (back) and Ed Dickson (undisclosed) are inactive against the Tennessee Titans Saturday, Aug. 20. Olsen is recovering from back spasms.
Huddle Up: Dickson has little to no fantasy value as long as Olsen is healthy, which Olsen should be by Week 1. He was Cam Newton's favorite target last year, and he should still be one of the first tight ends drafted even with the return of Kelvin Benjamin.
Kelvin Benjamin - WRPosted 8/18/16 1:11pm ET
Carolina Panthers WR Kelvin Benjamin (knee) doesn't plan on wearing a brace to protect the torn anterior cruciate ligament he's healing from. Benjamin said a brace feels uncomfortable. Head coach Ron Rivera agrees with the decision.
Huddle Up: Benjamin isn't quite at full health, but he should be there at least close when the regular season commences. He's the Panthers' top wideout even after missing last season, but caution should still be used. It's best to draft Benjamin as a low-end No. 2 wide receiver.
Greg Olsen - TEPosted 8/18/16 3:29pm ET
Carolina Panthers TE Greg Olsen's (back) MRI on his ailing back came back negative, according to head coach Ron Rivera, but Olsen is still dealing with a big spasm.
Huddle Up: The timetable for Olsen's return wasn't made clear, but it shouldn't be too long since it's not too serious of an issue. He's one of the most reliable tight ends in the NFL and should be one of the first three tight ends taken in fantasy drafts.
Kelvin Benjamin - WRPosted 8/16/16 9:04am ET
Carolina Panthers WR Devin Funchess could outperform WR Kelvin Benjamin this season, according to beat writer David Newton.
Huddle Up: Funchess posted a touchdown in the preseason opener, and Benjamin is reportedly struggling with his conditioning. It's very early in the process, but fantasy owners in early-drafting leagues who picked Funchess in the middle rounds might be very pleased with that prognostication. Funchess has plenty of upside but remains a low-end WR3 or flex play in most leagues until he proves drops will not be a problem again.
Kelvin Benjamin - WRPosted 8/15/16 9:11am ET
Carolina Panthers WR Kelvin Benjamin is 'struggling with conditioning', according to head coach Ron Rivera, who added his goal is to see Benjamin be able to handle 30 to 35 snaps by the end of the preseason.
Huddle Up: It shouldn't come as a surprise that Benjamin isn't quite ready yet coming off of last year's ACL tear, but this is the kind of report that should sound off an alarm for owners hoping he will pick right back up where he left off as a rookie. Benjamin benefited from a lot of negative game scripts in 2014 and the Panthers have already hinted they plan to spread it around in the passing game, so owners should treat him as a high-risk WR2.
Kelvin Benjamin - WRPosted 8/8/16 8:42pm ET
Carolina Panthers WR Kelvin Benjamin (knee) will receive limited snaps during the first preseason game because he still coming back from a torn anterior cruciate ligament.
Huddle Up: It's not surprising the Panthers are bringing Benjamin along slowly. Starters play very little in the first preseason game. Look for Benjamin's playing time to increase throughout the preseason. Benjamin is currently being drafted in the third round on average.
Corey Brown - WRPosted 8/4/16 2:58pm ET
Carolina Panthers WR Corey Brown (ankle) is out of practice Thursday, Aug. 4, after rolling his ankle the previous day.
Huddle Up: Brown upped his season stat line to 31-447-4 in his second season a year ago, but there are significantly fewer WR looks to go around now that Kelvin Benjamin has returned from injury and second-year Devin Funchess has taken a leap forward and any time missed to injury is going to set Brown back even further in the rotation.
Devin Funchess - WRPosted 8/2/16 11:20am ET
Carolina Panthers WR Devin Funchess is having an outstanding training camp, according to beat writer Jonathan Jones. Funchess is playing several roles, including slot receiver, with WR Kelvin Benjamin (knee) back this season.
Huddle Up: Funchess will be the third option in the aerial attack, but that could work in his favor. He can move around and create mismatches across the field. He's a WR4 in fantasy with upside.
Cameron Artis-Payne - RBPosted 7/31/16 1:16pm ET
Carolina Panthers RB Cameron Artis-Payne's speed has been impressive early in training camp.
Huddle Up: A late-round RB to definitely consider, especially if you're a Jonathan Stewart owner.
Kelvin Benjamin - WRPosted 7/29/16 12:57pm ET
Carolina Panthers WR Kelvin Benjamin (knee) is close to top form, head coach Ron Rivera said Saturday, July 30, and wide receivers coach Ricky Proehl said he has been impressed by Benjamin's ability to make contested catches.
Huddle Up: Benjamin appears recovered and primed to make a come back to his 2014 level -- and possibly beyond -- when he finished as the 16th-ranked fantasy wideout with a 73-1,008-9 stat line as a rookie.
Kelvin Benjamin - WRPosted 7/27/16 9:32pm ET
Carolina Panthers WR Kelvin Benjamin (knee) has been cleared to participate in practice, but head coach Ron Rivera said Benjamin likely will be eased back into practice.
Huddle Up: Benjamin will be a full year removed form his ACL tear and already turned in a 73-1008-9 stat line as a rookie. Cam Newton excelled last year even without his most talented receiver. With Benjamin back, the Panthers offense can be even better. He is expected to be good-to-go for Week 1.
Devin Funchess - WRPosted 7/7/16 1:08pm ET
Carolina Panthers WR Devin Funchess is likely to emerge as the team's No. 2 receiver this season, beat writer David Newton said. He is expected to play outside and in the slot.
Huddle Up: After catching 31 of 63 targets for 473 yards and five TDs as a rookie, Funchess reportedly has been one of the team's most improved players of the offseason and look for him to supplant Ted Ginn Jr. and fall in as the No. 2 behind the returning Kelvin Benjamin.
Luke Kuechly - LBPosted 6/19/16 2:09pm ET
Carolina Panthers LB Luke Kuechly (shoulder) should be ready to go for the start of training camp, according to head coach Ron Rivera. Kuechly had surgery in February for a torn labrum in his left shoulder.
Huddle Up: Good prognosis for the IDP-league stud, who's averaged 155 total tackles per season since entering the league in 2012.
Cameron Artis-Payne - RBPosted 6/2/16 1:04pm ET
Carolina Panthers RB Cameron Artis-Payne has lost about 10 pounds since last season, while RB Brandon Wegher is playing faster. Both seem ready to take more playing time away from RB Jonathan Stewart.
Huddle Up: Stewart was relatively healthy last season and played in double-digit games (13) for only the second time in the last four years, but that only means the oft-injured back could be due for a breakdown this season, meaning Artis-Payne, Fozzy Whittaker or Wegher would be asked to step in.
Kelvin Benjamin - WRPosted 5/31/16 1:22pm ET
Carolina Panthers WR Kelvin Benjamin (knee) is moving around well during organized team activities, and it doesn't look at all like he had surgery last season on his knee, in the opinion of ESPN.com's David Newton.
Huddle Up: Time is on Benjamin's side as he suffered his injury in the preseason and has had nearly 10 months to recover. Expect the Panthers' No. 1 WR to be ready from the get-go.
Kelvin Benjamin - WRPosted 5/26/16 3:01pm ET
Carolina Panthers WR Kelvin Benjamin (knee) is back at practice in organized team activities Thursday, May 26, for the first time since tearing the anterior cruciate ligament in his knee in training camp last year. Carolina is likely to ease him back into work, though, after he totaled 1,008 receiving yards and nine touchdowns as a rookie.
Huddle Up: Definitely expect the Panthers to treat Benjamin with kid gloves as he's expected to return to his No. 1 WR status. In The Huddle's preliminary player rankings, Benjamin checks in at 18th among WRs.
Cam Newton - QBPosted 5/20/16 12:49pm ET
Carolina Panthers QB Cam Newton still has an awful lot of room to grow, in the words of head coach Ron Rivera. 'As he continues to learn and understand more and more about offensive and defensive plays, his decision-making is going to be even better,' Rivera said. 'As long as he continues to stay healthy and keep getting better physically and work on his base fundamentals, I think the young man is going to get better.'
Huddle Up: That's a scary thought for defenses and the keeper-league owners who don't own Cam after the QB easily led all fantasy QBs last season and has been a top-five fantasy signal-caller in four of his five seasons.
Greg Olsen - TEPosted 5/20/16 1:02pm ET
Carolina Panthers TE Greg Olsen said he anticipates playing for several more years and plans on making it tough on any new tight end to take away his reps.
Huddle Up: Olsen had a career-best 1,104 receiving yards on a career-most 124 targets last season. His numbers easily figure to remain TE1 worthy, but they might slip somewhat with Kelvin Benjamin's anticipated return actually giving the Panthers a steady and reliable WR option outside.
Corey Brown - WRPosted 5/8/16 9:53pm ET
Carolina Panthers WR Corey Brown underwent shoulder surgery this offseason, according to LB Luke Kuechly.
Huddle Up: Brown stepped up his production to a 31-447-4 season in his second year, but continued increases are questionable with starting wideout Kelvin Benjamin due back from injury this coming season.
Josh Norman - CBPosted 4/22/16 4:17pm ET
Free-agent CB Josh Norman (Panthers) has received an initial offer from the Washington Redskins that is worth more than $13 million per season.
Huddle Up: D.C. was Norman's first stop Friday as the Skins sent a private plane to pick him up, and according to various reports, it sounds like it'll come down between Washington and San Fran with the Jags, Titans and Raiders on the outside.
Josh Norman - CBPosted 4/22/16 8:38pm ET
Free-agent CB Josh Norman (Panthers) will sign a five-year deal worth $75 million with the Washington Redskins on Friday, April 22, according to a source. The deal includes $50 million in guarantees.
Huddle Up: As expected, it didn't take long for Norman to find a new home, eclipsing the Jets' Darrelle Revis as the league's highest-paid cornerback. It also helps solidify the D.C. secondary in a big way after the Skins ranked in the bottom quadrant of the league last season with 258 passing yards allowed per game.
Josh Norman - CBPosted 4/21/16 4:28pm ET
Free-agent CB Josh Norman (Panthers) reportedly is attracting interest from at least seven teams: The Jacksonville Jaguars, Tampa Bay Buccaneers, New York Jets, Chicago Bears, Tennessee Titans, San Francisco 49ers and Oakland Raiders.
Huddle Up: When an All-Pro cornerback in his prime suddenly hits the open market with a number of teams still rife with cap space, a mini bidding war is bound to erupt. Various reports are currently pointing to different teams as the favorite, so stay tuned ...
Kelvin Benjamin - WRPosted 4/21/16 4:44pm ET
Carolina Panthers WR Kelvin Benjamin (knee) will participate in organized team activities, but he'll be limited.
Huddle Up: Benjamin is coming back from a torn ACL, but it happened in mid-August so he at least has that going for him. Taking it easy this spring and summer should at least allow him to be near full recovery by the time the preseason opener rolls around. We'll monitor his progress throughout.
Luke Kuechly - LBPosted 4/1/16 7:15pm ET
Carolina Panthers LB Luke Kuechly (shoulder) said he is on schedule in his rehabilitation process. Kuechly is six weeks removed from surgery to repair a shoulder injury. He is no longer in a sling and is gradually gaining strength and range of motion back in his shoulder. Kuechly also said he's been riding a bicycle a lot and doing lower body work, adding that it's going to be a gradual process to get back to full health by training camp.
Huddle Up: Kuechly is valuable as they come at the position -- witness his league-leading 620 total tackles since entering the league in 2012, but Youth is still on the side of the linebacker, who doesn't turn 25 until later this month.
Mike Tolbert - RBPosted 3/6/16 10:52pm ET
Carolina Panthers impending free-agent FB Mike Tolbert and the Panthers have discussed a potential extension that could be negotiated up until the deadline.
Huddle Up: With 410 total yards and four TDs last season, Tolbert remains a fantasy vulture more than anything and that figures to continue wherever he lands next season.
Josh Norman - CBPosted 2/26/16 12:41pm ET
Carolina Panthers impending free-agent CB Josh Norman has had contract talks with the team, but not much progress has been made. Talks are expected to continue, but he's a candidate for the franchise tag.
Huddle Up: The first-team All-Pro was vital in the Panthers' defensive success, holding together an otherwise suspect secondary, and there's no way he's leaving Carolina in his prime at age 28.
Jonathan Stewart - RBPosted 2/18/16 9:18am ET
Carolina Panthers RB Jonathan Stewart carries a cap hit of $9.55 million to go with his base salary of $5 million in 2016. The Panthers would save $4 million in salary cap space if they released Stewart by June 1, but they are still expected to keep him.
Huddle Up: Stewart finally stayed (mostly) healthy and was a big part of the Panthers' offensive success this season. There isn't a solid Plan B on the roster, so Carolina may have to bite the bullet and take the cap hit to keep their ground game intact.
Luke Kuechly - LBPosted 2/16/16 9:22pm ET
Carolina Panthers LB Luke Kuechly will undergo surgery to repair a partially torn labrum in his left shoulder, according to sources. Kuechly's availability for organized team activities and minicamp is uncertain at this point, but he is expected to be fully recovered before training camp starts in July.
Huddle Up: It's no wonder Kuechly's shoulder is hurting after averaging a whopping 155 tackles over his first four regular seasons, but the soon-to-be-25-year-old figures to be good shape once training camp rolls around.
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