Devin Funchess - WRPosted 6/29/15 11:06pm ET
Carolina Panthers WR Devin Funchess impressed during offseason workouts and could have a big role in 2015. He played all three receiver positions, and his 6-foot-4 frame could create mismatches. Funchess (toe) cited a toe injury for the reason his numbers were disappointing in his final season at the University of Michigan. 'We never got to see the full Devin Funchess at Michigan because I did play one season at wide receiver, and I was battling through an injury,' Funchess said Monday, June 29. Funchess said his toe injury was a torn ligament with some cracked bones and ruptured cartilage.
Huddle Up: Funchess is a similar target to the Panthers' Kelvin Benjamin, and that worked well last season. He was drafted for his upside, and if he's healthy he'll give Cam Newton another big target down the field.
Kelvin Benjamin - WRPosted 6/26/15 12:04am ET
Carolina Panthers WR Kelvin Benjamin's reported weight gain this offseason is being overblown, according to general manager Dave Gettleman. Gettleman expects Benjamin to be ready to go for training camp next month. A team source said Benjamin, who played at 245 pounds as a rookie last year, showed up to workouts in April nine pounds overweight. 'It really is much ado about nothing. Right now he's only five pounds off his playing weight. That's it,' Gettleman said after the team wrapped up their three-day minicamp. Benjamin has had weight problems before, as he took a redshirt year in college after being 20 pounds overweight. He had 73 catches for 1,008 yards and nine touchdowns in 2014, but he missed 10 of 14 practices during organized team activities and minicamp with injuries to both his hamstrings.
Huddle Up: What's not overblown is the time already missed due to injury and the fears of a sophomore slump, making Benjamin a player to monitor during training camp.
Cam Newton - QBPosted 6/20/15 9:47am ET
Carolina Panthers QB Cam Newton won't run less in 2015 because of the contract extension he received, general manager Dave Gettleman said. 'He's got to be Cam,' Gettleman said. 'You don't hold back a thoroughbred, you don't.'
Huddle Up: It's Cam's rushing, especially at the goal line, that bolsters his fantasy value. So it's good news that his club isn't looking to protect him by shying away from using him at the stripe.
Cam Newton - QBPosted 6/19/15 1:04pm ET
Carolina Panthers QB Cam Newton has better footwork and decision making in what head coach Ron Rivera called the best he has seen from Newton in practice this week. 'I think it's all part of his growth,' said Rivera. 'Again, he's a young man. He came into this league after playing only one year of major-college football. I think it's been good for him. I think his development is really headed in the right direction and again the big plus is we've had him (healthy) for all the OTAs (organized team activities) and minicamp this year.'
Huddle Up: For the first time in his four pro seasons last year, Newton finished outside the top-five fantasy QBs. And it was a dramatic dip as he wound up 17th, thanks largely to a career-low 16 passing TDs and two games missed to injury. Some better health, better mechanics and more target options (second-round WR Devin Funchess) should lift Newton back up into QB1 territory.
Kelvin Benjamin - WRPosted 6/18/15 2:27pm ET
Carolina Panthers WR Kelvin Benjamin (hamstring) showed up 8 or 9 pounds overweight, and head coach Ron Rivera believes Benjamin's hamstring injury could be a result of that. 'It could be as simple as weight,' Rivera said in an attempt to explain why Benjamin suffered another hamstring injury just as he returned from one. 'He did come in a little heavy and he had to work himself into shape. Or diet or something. We're going to take a look at it and make sure it's not a chronic issue with him. He's too good a football player to have on the sideline.'
Huddle Up: There are growing sophomore concerns about Benjamin, who posted a 73-1,008-9 line last season to finish 16th among all fantasy WRs and third among the ultra-talented rookie wideout class. If he doesn't show up in better shape to training camp and/or is still dogged by the hammy issues, his fantasy stock will have no choice but to head south.
Stephen Hill - WRPosted 6/17/15 2:11pm ET
Carolina Panthers WR Stephen Hill has been one of the standout performers during offseason workouts, according to head coach Ron Rivera.
Huddle Up: Hill might just play himself into the third receiver role on a run-first team, which doesn't exactly scream "fantasy opportunity".
Corey Brown - WRPosted 6/14/15 4:15pm ET
Carolina Panthers WR Corey Brown (formerly known as Philly Brown) has big-play speed and he has run more precise routes during offseason workouts. He has developed a nice rapport with QB Cam Newton and he could potentially be a deep threat, more so than WR Ted Ginn Jr.
Huddle Up: The smallish (6-0, 190) but speedy Brown came on late last season as a rookie and finished with 21 catches for 296 yards and a pair of TDs. He could be the perfect complement to the bigger wideouts the Panthers have in Kelvin Benjamin and second-round pick Devin Funchess.
Cameron Artis-Payne - RBPosted 6/14/15 4:32pm ET
Carolina Panthers RB Cameron Artis-Payne can carry the load in the event of an injury to RB Jonathan Stewart, according to head coach Ron Rivera.
Huddle Up: The fifth-round pick may need to as Stewart -- depite his solid 990 total yards and foru TDs in 13 games last year -- has only played one full season in the last five.
Kelvin Benjamin - WRPosted 6/9/15 11:17pm ET
Carolina Panthers WR Kelvin Benjamin (hamstring) returned to participation in organized team activities Tuesday, June 9, after taking some repetitions Monday, according to a source. Benjamin injured his hamstring slipping on wet turf last month and had missed the team's first seven OTA practices.
Huddle Up: Good to see the second-year wideout back on the field as there was speculation he might be out until training camp. See if he can get some work in without re-aggravating the issue.
Kelvin Benjamin - WRPosted 6/5/15 12:20am ET
Carolina Panthers WR Kelvin Benjamin (hamstring) was held out out of practice Thursday, June 4.
Huddle Up: It's still early and they're only OTAs of course, but hammies can be tricky. Just recall Odell Beckham Jr.'s offseason and start to his rookie season a year ago before he was Odell Beckham Jr.
Cam Newton - QBPosted 6/2/15 8:24pm ET
Updating a previous report, Carolina Panthers QB Cam Newton has agreed to a five-year, $103 million deal, according to a source. He will make $67.6 million in the first three years of the deal.
Huddle Up: Really a no-brainer for the Panthers. Newton's passing stats have been decent, averaging 20.5 TD tosses and 3,606.5 aerial yards per season, but his rushing is what makes him a prime weapon as he's accumulated the most rushing yards (2,571) by a QB in his first four seasons during the Super Bowl era.
Devin Funchess - WRPosted 6/1/15 1:16am ET
Carolina Panthers WR Devin Funchess has been seeing extra snaps while WR Kelvin Benjamin (hamstring) is sidelined, and head coach Ron Rivera said the extra work for Funchess has been an unintended plus.
Huddle Up: Definitely an added bonus for the second-round pick in his bid to win the starting job opposite Benjamin.
Kelvin Benjamin - WRPosted 5/28/15 4:15pm ET
Carolina Panthers WR Kelvin Benjamin (hamstring) sat out organized team activities Thursday, May 28, as he continues to nurse a sore hamstring.
Huddle Up: It's still not even June, but it's something to keep a casual eye on in the coming weeks for fantasy's 16th-ranked WR in 2014.
Cameron Artis-Payne - RBPosted 5/19/15 4:15pm ET
Carolina Panthers RB Cameron Artis-Payne is expected to win the No. 2 running back job behind starting RB Jonathan Stewart. Artis-Payne, a 2015 fifth-round draft choice, should play a significant role in the offense, in the opinion of ESPN.com's David Newton. Rookie RB Brandon Wegher and RB Fozzy Whittaker are likely to compete for the No. 3 job.
Huddle Up: Artis-Payne impressed by rushing for 1,608 yards and 13 TDs last season at Auburn and whomever wins the No. 2 gig could quickly find themselves as the Panthers' lead dog given Stewart's injury history.
Devin Funchess - WRPosted 5/15/15 7:28pm ET
Carolina Panthers WR Devin Funchess has played all three receiver positions during minicamp.
Huddle Up: Expect to see the 6-4, 230-pound second-round pick utilized all over the field -- including at tight end -- as the Panthers try to create as many favorable mismatches as they can.
Devin Funchess - WRPosted 5/8/15 7:21pm ET
Carolina Panthers WR Devin Funchess was carted off the field during practice Friday, May 8, but is just dealing with leg cramps, according to the team.
Huddle Up: Just a scare and definitely a much better fate for the Panthers' second-round pick than the news from further south Friday concerning Jaguars No. 1 pick Dante Fowler.
Devin Funchess - TEPosted 5/1/15 9:08pm ET
Michigan TE Devin Funchess was selected 41st overall by the Carolina Panthers in the second round of the 2015 NFL Draft on Friday, May 1. Funchess will be used exclusively at wide receiver, according to general manager Dave Gettleman.
Huddle Up: In a very curious move, the Panthers traded up 16 spots to pick TE/WR hybrid, giving them a pair of massive wideouts with the 6-4, 230-pound Funchess and the 6-5, 240-pound Kelvin Benjamin. Funchess, though, lacks speed and route-running expertise, meaning he has a steep NFL learning curve ahead.
Luke Kuechly - LBPosted 4/26/15 1:49pm ET
Carolina Panthers LB Luke Kuechly's fifth-year option was exercised Saturday, April 25. Kuechly will make $11.1 million in 2016.
Huddle Up: Kuechly followed up his defensive rookie of the year campaign in 2012 and defensive player of the year season in 2013 with a career-high 171 tackles and his second straight first-team AP All-Pro selection this past season, so picking up the LB's fifth-year option was the easiest call the Panthers will have made in years.
Greg Jennings - WRPosted 3/31/15 7:37pm ET
Free-agent WR Greg Jennings (Vikings) signed a two-year deal with the Carolina Panthers Tuesday, March 31. Financial terms were undisclosed.
Huddle Up: Jennings joins Jarrett Boykin as the second former-Packer to sign with Carolina in the last week, and while he hasn't been the same big-play WR since leaving Aaron Rodgers and G.B., he instantly upgrades a Panthers' WR corps and boosts Cam Newton's fantasy stock a tick or two as well.
Jonathan Stewart - RBPosted 3/28/15 10:55pm ET
Carolina Panthers RB Jonathan Stewart will ideally be limited to 15 carries a game, according to head coach Ron Rivera. The team will look to draft a running back in the 2015 NFL Draft that will likely take eight to 10 carries per game.
Huddle Up: So much for those dreams of Stewart finally being the Panthers' go-to back, with accompanying fantasy value. On the bright side, limiting his touches may keep the oft-injured Stewart on the field and off the injury report. Probably not, though.
Greg Hardy - DEPosted 3/17/15 2:30pm ET
Free-agent DE Greg Hardy (Panthers) is engaged in ongoing negotiations with the Dallas Cowboys, but the two sides haven't reached an agreement, according to a source. Hardy will visit with Dallas on Tuesday, March 17.
Huddle Up: The 2013 Pro Bowler is one of the best remaining free agents and is free to sign a new deal as the NFL investigates Hardy's involvement in a domestic-violence incident last spring. Charges have since been dropped as Hardy has reached a financial settlement with his accuser, but NFL discipline is likely still forthcoming after he spent most of the 2014 season on the commissioner's exempt list. Still, Hardy's long-term potential -- he's still 26 -- remains attractive in a league continually in search of pass-rushers.
DeAngelo Williams - RBPosted 3/13/15 7:12pm ET
Free-agent RB DeAngelo Williams (Panthers) has signed a two-year contract with the Pittsburgh Steelers. Financial terms were not disclosed.
Huddle Up: The Steelers have secured a veteran backup for Le'Veon Bell in the soon-to-be 32-year-old Williams, who spent his first nine NFL seasons in Carolina. Williams had a career-low 219 rushing yards in six games last season during an injury-plagued 2014.
DeAngelo Williams - RBPosted 3/11/15 3:34pm ET
Free-agent RB DeAngelo Williams (Panthers) is scheduled to meet with the Pittsburgh Steelers Friday, March 13, according to a source.
Huddle Up: It's an intriguing fit for Williams; as the handcuff to Le'Veon Bell Williams could be a nice early-season fantasy value while Bell sits out a two (or potentially four) game suspension.
Greg Hardy - DEPosted 3/5/15 3:41pm ET
Carolina Panthers impending free-agent DE Greg Hardy will be allowed to sign a new deal even though he's still on the commissioner's exempt list. NFL free agency starts Tuesday, March 10. However, his playing status remains in limbo, and he isn't allowed to play until he's removed from the exempt list, which might prevent teams from talking to him in free agency. The league has uncovered enough evidence in a domestic violence charge to warrant a suspension, according to a league source.
Huddle Up: Bittersweet news at best for the Panthers' 2013 sack leader as most teams figure to take a wait-and-see approach before extending any kind of contact offer.
Greg Olsen - TEPosted 3/5/15 10:11pm ET
Carolina Panthers TE Greg Olsen on Thursday, March 5 signed a three-year contract extension worth $22.5 million, including a $12.5 million signing bonus.
Huddle Up: A richly-deserved deal for Olsen who hit career highs this past season with 123 targets and 84 catches for 1,008 yards while snaring six scoring grabs. He finished fourth among TEs with 137 fantasy points and should remain a rock-solid TE1 even if the Panthers upgrade their WR corps as expected.
DeAngelo Williams - RBPosted 2/23/15 3:55pm ET
Carolina Panthers RB DeAngelo Williams is on his way out of Carolina. Williams told WBTV that the team told him last week he was being released. Williams, who turns 32 in two months, played in just six games last season while Jonathan Stewart found new life. Cutting Williams saves the Panthers $2 million in salary cap space.
Huddle Up: The door is wide open for Jonathan Stewart to be a fantasy factor; if he's able to stay healthy and play as he did late last season, he'll live up to that potential. As for Williams, he's relatively low mileage for a veteran back but his best bet to land another NFL gig is as part of a backfield committee.
DeAngelo Williams - RBPosted 2/23/15 11:15pm ET
Updating a previous report, Carolina Panthers RB DeAngelo Williams has not been released and is not expected to be released Monday, Feb. 23. It was previously reported that Williams had been released.
Huddle Up: Williams gaven an interview to WBTV in which he discussed a meeting with the Panthers last week, a meeting in which they told him they would be releasing him. However, a Panthers spokesman said he had not yet been released and no transaction was expected on Monday. It's all semantics, though; Williams is not in Carolina's plans, and he'll be released at whatever point the Panthers need the cap space or roster room.
Greg Hardy - DEPosted 2/22/15 5:33pm ET
Carolina Panthers impending free-agent DE Greg Hardy could receive interest from the Cincinnati Bengals during free agency.
Huddle Up: Hardy, who recorded 26 sacks during the 2012-13 seasons, is on plenty of FA radar screens, but the majority of teams will wait and see if any league disciplinary measures are forthcoming for the DE.
Cam Newton - QBPosted 2/22/15 5:42pm ET
Carolina Panthers QB Cam Newton's representatives were scheduled to meet with the team this weekend at the NFL Scouting Combine in Indianapolis. Talks for a new contract were on the agenda.
Huddle Up: The timing is good for Newton, who while his numbers were a little down last season, was viewed to have taken steps forward as a team leader and franchise QB.
Philly Brown - WRPosted 2/12/15 10:51pm ET
Carolina Panthers WR Philly Brown became a part of three-receiver sets in Week 11, and he said he expects to make even more plays next season.
Huddle Up: The speedy rookie free agent emerged late in the season as a strong complement to fellow first-year player Kelvin Benjamin and expect him to challenge for the No. 2 WR job next season.
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