Tag Archives: Carolina Panthers

Vlog 21: Benjamin to the Bills and Ajayi to the Eagles

The Carolina Panthers traded wide receiver Kelvin Benjamin to the Buffalo Bills for a 3rd and 7th round pick in the 2018 draft.

I personally didn’t think the Panthers would be dealers before the deadline, but what do I know.

Check out my thoughts on the trade.

The No Name Offense May Have Made a Name with the Carolina Panthers

Cam Newton is playing out of his mind, but he isn’t doing it by himself. His nameless teammates have risen to the occasion thus far, and it may be time to give them their due.

The Carolina Panthers are arguably the best team in the NFL with a record of 9-0. Now I don’t want to get ahead of myself, but it seems as if the Panthers are destined to be great this season. Now, I am not crazy enough to think the Panthers are going to run the table and go 16-0, but they are capable of winning the Super Bowl.

Outside of Cam Newton, Jonathan Stewart, and Ryan Kalil the Carolina Panthers offense are stock-piled with castaways and players that were left for dead from previous teams. Prior to the NFL regular season beginning, Newton lost his No.1 target in Kelvin Benjamin to an ACL injury which put him out for the season. With the loss of Benjamin, Newton lost a sure handed, big play wide receiver that was on the cusp of having a breakout season.

At that time with no market for free agent wide receivers, it looked as if Cam Newton’s receiving tandem would be Ted Ginn Jr. and Philly Brown. Ginn Jr. and Brown combined for a total of 35 receptions in the 2014 season. Many thought, how in the hell will Cam Newton win with the tandem of Ginn and Brown at the wide receiver position. Comparing the Panthers wideouts to the other upper echelon teams are laughable to some. Despite the disrespect, Ginn and Brown are playing pretty good football at the moment, despite a few problems with the dropped passes.

Neither wideout is producing like Julio Jones or Antonio Brown, but they have made timely plays when their team has needed it most. Both Ginn and Brown played under Jim Tressel at THE Ohio State University and they know what it takes to be the ultimate teammate. Whether it’s playing special teams, blocking, or making a big play they are accustomed to meeting the needs of the team.

Inserting Jericho Cotchery as the slot wide receiver and rookie Devin Funchess in the fold, I’m sure that Cam Newton can walk through TSA security at Charlotte Douglass Airport without setting off the alarms. Newton’s weapons may not look appealing to other NFL quarterbacks, but he has managed to make it work by having his best season as a pro.

Tight End Greg Olsen is on pace to have one of his best year as a pro. Things has not always been a great for the nine-year veteran from “The U”. Prior to landing in Carolina, Olsen played with the Chicago Bears before being traded in 2012 for a third round draft pick. Olsen tends to get lost in the shuffle when talking about top-tier tight ends, but he has compiled 502 receptions, 5,772 yards, and 47 touchdowns in his career. He may not be in the same category as Rob Gronkowski, but he is a great player in his own right.

The Carolina Panthers offensive line isn’t reminiscent of the Dallas Cowboys of the 90’s, but they are one of the main reasons why the Panthers have the top rushing offense in all of football. It makes life a little bit easier when you have Newton and Stewart toting the rock. The Panthers have promising linemen such as Andrew Norwell, Mike Remmers, Trai Turner, and they have added Michael Oher to the fold who was a castaway as a member of the Baltimore Ravens. Whether standing the in the pocket throwing bullets to lead blocking the read option for Newton the offensive line has been a dominant force. Newton has been sacked 13 times this season and there are 19 quarterbacks in the NFL that has been sacked more than Newton. The guys in the trenches never get the credit that they deserve, but they are the driving force behind the success of Newton and the Panthers.

The Panthers and their castaways are standing dominating the NFL, and the doubters will only continue to surface.. Many experts predicted that they would lose this last week against the Green Bay Packers due to the lack of scoring. As expected the Panthers failed to listen to the skeptics and put up 37 points in a victory while making Aaron Rodgers look human.

The Panthers defense has made a name for themselves while the offense is still silencing doubters. The no-name moniker may have already be taken, but if the Panthers win Super Bowl 50 the offense will have to garner some respect. Newton is on par to be a MVP candidate. It may seem like he is doing by himself, but the others have played a huge role in the evolution of Newton as a quarterback and leader.

To the average fan, the Panthers supporting cast are pedestrian, and that’s just perfectly fine. After the first eight games of the season the “others” have proven that they should garner some respect. If it doesn’t happen now, I guess we will have to wait until February to give the supporting cast the credit that they deserve.

Mid-season Super Bowl contenders

With six weeks in the books, the picture has become more clear on whom the real contenders are in the race to Levi Stadium, to play in Super Bowl 50. After several surprising starts and a few that weren’t too shocking, five teams remain unbeaten. The Carolina Panthers, Green Bay Packers, Denver Broncos, Cincinnati Bengals and the defending champions, New England Patriots.

Judging by the record alone, one would have to believe that all of these teams have a legitimate chance at playing in San Fran come February. Digging a little deeper will uncover the faults in the somewhat lucky success a few of these clubs have experienced.

Lets begin with the two most probable teams to crumble as quickly as they’ve risendalton-andy-over16, The Denver Broncos and the Cincinnati Bengals. First, the Bengals. The current leaders of the AFC North are poised to make yet another playoff run with Andy Dalton behind center, this time looking for their first postseason win. Now while they will almost certainly end up winning the division, barring a complete collapse mixed with a sudden resurgence in their three rivals, Cincy has had some close calls throughout their short win streak. Week three was a nail biter against the offensively challenged Ravens, a field goal in overtime won them the game against the Seahawks and their blowout wins have come against bottom dwellers such as the Raiders and the under achieving Chiefs and Bills. Coming off their bye in two weeks they will face a Steelers squad who will more than likely have Big Ben back at a 100%. Followed up by some hard hitting NFC games near the end of the season, the journey is anything, but smooth from here on out for the Bengals.

At 39, Peyton Manning has all, but conquered his dreams and ambitions in the NFL. One thing he hasn’t done is silence the critics when it comes to his postseason ability, or lack thereof. Starting off the year as he finished it in 2014, Peyton has looked nothing like his future hall of fame self. Throwing numerous pick sixes, incompletion after incompletion and basically providing Manning-Haters with enough material to make a comedy routine about, the former MVP has taken a back seat to his defense on their bumpy ride to the top of the AFC West. With a run game only existent in the past few weeks and a QB who is playing like a first year rookie, the defense has been forced and challenged to bring their “A” game to the table each and every week and they have, convincingly. If the offense doesn’t pick up the slack soon, it will only be a matter of time before the Denver team encounters their first loss.

Two other teams that are unbeaten, but have a great chance of continuing this streak for much more weeks, are the Carolina Panthers and The Green Bay Packers.

Green Bay has, and always will be, a perennial favorite to win the Lombardi as long as they have Aaron Rodgers leading the way. While most will assume that the CheeseHeads have the best chance of going 16-0, the odds are less likely than most will know. Allowing Philip Rivers to throw 60+ times for a staggering 500 yards and zero picks, shows that they need to buckle down on their pass coverage. Although the run game has recently regained momentum with the emergence of Starks, the lack of Lacy and his dominance has been a major breaking point. The Pack have The Broncos on tap following their bye week, it’s a guarantee one of those teams will be staring at a daunting 1 in the loss column. Look for both teams to strategize a win, most importantly by correcting their major mistakes in the run game.

The Car113013-NFL-Panthers-Cam-Newton-Celebrates-Touchdown-CQ-PI-CH_vadapt_620_high_0olina Panthers have made history for their franchise on way to their impressive 6-0 start. Cam Newton has firmly placed his name in the mid way votes for MVP, leaving little doubt that he is poised to be an elite superstar for years to come. Losing Luke Kuechly early in the season seemed like it would be a devastating blow to an already injury plagued team, this was not the case. They have cemented themselves as a top contender in not only the NFC South, but the entire conference. Also having a date with the powerhouse Packers team, they too have quite a difficult road ahead. As Cam continues to produce with little targets and the defense gets their heart and soul back when Luke returns, watch for the Panthers to make more than a statement in the following weeks.

Last and certainly not least, is the dreaded Patriots. Clouded in controversy since the conference final last January and let’s face it , for most of the decade, New England has taken that criticism, hate and negativity and transformed into major success. With the latest “defletegate” and non suspension of Brady, the heat hasn’t been more fierce for the New England team. As always, both Belichick and Brady have used this to their advantage and absolutely have laid waste to the competition this year. Matching an outstanding 2007 season so far, which seen the Patriots and Tom the terrible smash the history books cruising to a 16-0 regular season record, the Pats have all, but silenced every doubt cast upon them. With no clear favorites to upset Brady’s Bunch, New England fans can almost book a date by the golden gate with a 16-0 record at their side.

So who will be the last to fall? Will the Bengals continue their thrashing of the AFC North? Will the Panthers surprise everyone and stop the mighty Packers en route to an undefeated season? Will Peyton find the fountain of youth to help the obsolete offence in Denver? Will the Packers prove they are the NFC favorite for years to come? Or will the Pats be the first to repeat a Super Bowl win and ultimately become the dynasty to beat as they will be the only team to have two undefeated seasons? It won’t be long until we see the first loss out of this bunch of unbeatens, the real test is about to ensue in the upcoming weeks. Stay tuned !!

Fantasy Football: Benjamin/Nelson huge losses for Panthers/Packers and Fantasy Owners

Every year before the season (and during) starts a few big name, high impact fantasy players get hurt sometimes for a significant part of the season, but mostly when the bug hits it hits the player(s) for the whole season.

The first big time player that was impacted was WR Kelvin Benjamin of the Carolina Panthers. Benjamin tore his ACL last week and with that tear placed Cam Newton in stress mode. Benjamin had a great rookie season and seemed to be heading into an even better 2nd year being that he and Newton had another year of chemistry in the books. Last year Benjamin caught 73 passes for 1,008 yards and 9 touchdowns. Not bad for a guy that many considered a reach late in the first round. Benjamin will be out for the year this is a big loss for the Panthers and for people playing fantasy football. Benjamin was borderline number one option/strong number two in fantasy football. Greg Olson and Devin Funchess will reap the benefit of more targets because of his absence.

jordy nelson injuryA week after Benjamin went down with an ACL injury The Green Bay Packers number one receiver Jordy Nelson went down with an ACL injury himself. Packers fans everywhere have to be sad along with Aaron Rodgers. Fantasy owners across the board have to be sad especially if you have him as a keeper. Nelson is a number one option in fantasy football also so this will boost Randall Cobb and Devante Adams stock, Cobb was already a legit number one option, but now Adams has to be a serious early to mid round pick. Nelson was coming of a 98 catch 1,519 yard 13 touchdown season, so to say he was on everyone’s board would be an understatement.

I personally wish these two men speedy recoveries. Every year the injury bug hits and this year it happened to cover two prominent receivers (others have been hit this offseason, but they play non fantasy “draftable’ positions).

Steve Smith, Sr. confirms on Mike & Mike that 2015 will be his last season

Yesterday reports rang out that the “Debo” of receivers Steve Smith, Sr. would be hanging up his cleats at end of the 2015 season. Which came at a slight shock because of how well he played during 2014, Smith had 79 receptions, 1,065 yards and 6 touchdowns.

While riding to work this morning Mike & Mike had the Ravens receiver on to confirm he was hanging the cleats up after the season. During the interview Smith seemed to be at peace with his decision stating he already had a trip set up during the off-season during prime training months.

Smith is one of the most dynamic, physical receivers I’ve ever seen and adding on he’s only 5’9” (and that’s the media height) that makes what he has accomplished that much more special.

During 14 seasons Smith as racked up 915 receptions, 13,262 yards and 73 touchdown, he also was a prominent member on special teams in his early days with the Panthers with 6 total touchdown via punt and kick return.

Smith is one of those cats who you had to respect and if you didn’t respect him he wouldn’t hesitate to pull your card.

I hope you are able to have a great 2015 Steve Smith, Sr. #salute.

Check out the video below.

Watch: Panthers Cam Newton and Josh Norman get into a little tussle

When training camp fights breakout you know teammates are getting tired of playing each other. Yesterday, Cam Newton and Josh Norman got into after Newton threw a pick to Norman. From pictures it looked like Cam gave Josh what he wanted, but from the video we can’t see much.

Check out the video.

Carolina Panthers make Newton franchise QB with new deal

Since the weekend their have been rumblings that the Carolina Panthers and Cam Newton were close to signing a deal that would keep their starting quarterback in Carolina for a long time. Tuesday afternoon the Panthers wrote a nice check to make Newton of the richest players ever in NFL history. Newton signed a five year $103.8 million extension with $60 million guaranteed and $67.6 million due in the first three years. Newton will get $31 million (total with signing bonus, salary and roster bonus) during the 2015 season.

The quarterback is heading into his fifth year, last season he led the Panthers to a NFC South title and a playoff victory. The Panthers finished 7-9, but that wasn’t Newton’s fault, cast some blame to the general manager (Dave Gettleman) for not getting him the proper weapons on offense.

Me and Ron personally thought the Panthers were setting Cam up so they didn’t have to pay him in the future, but we were proved wrong on the pay part, but they still were setting him up. Now even more eyes will be on Newton and with his new payday I’m pretty sure he won’t mind the extra scrutiny.

Cam feel free to loan the homies over at The Front Office News a few dollars if you need a tax write off we are here for you (lol).

The Conspiracy Theory Featuring the Carolina Panthers and Cam Newton

The Carolina Panthers front office seemed as if they had a master plan before the season, and it is paying dividends. With Cam Newton coming off of a MVP type of season  it was expected that he was going to break the bank with his new contract. We all know that the NFL and other sports are in a what have you done for me lately frenzy, and at the present time Cam Newton hasn’t done much. Newton is on pace to have his worst statistical season in his four year career. If you have any common sense, Newton’s decline in play was destined to happen. With a big day looming this summer, the Panthers let all of Newton’s weapons go and in return he didn’t get much help. When looking at last season, Newton had the luxury to spread the ball around to a lot of different targets. From Steve Smith Sr., Brandon Lafell, and Ted Ginn Jr, Newton lost 1,928 yards, 14 touchdowns, and irreplaceable passion and leadership from Steve Smith Sr.

In Newton’s biggest season as a pro, Carolina threw him a loop by surrounding him with subpar talent. No disrespect to rookie WR Kelvin Benjamin, but it is hard to walk in to replace a legend in Steve Smith Sr. With Colin Kaepernick, Andy Dalton, Tony Romo, and Jay Cutler all breaking the bank over the past few seasons with their contracts the Panthers new that market value was going to drive up Newton’s price, and if he had a productive season going into contract negotiations a la Joe Flacco they knew that he had all of the leverage to get a massive contract. As of now Cam is no-mans land, and the Panthers are clearly winning the battle, and there have been discussions that it is not a guarantee that they will re-sign him. I am guessing that Newton could lose up to $20 million dollars if his season continues to go the way that it is going.  The Panthers are currently 4-6, and they are just a few good plays away from being first in the abysmal NFC South. I can see the Panthers winning the division, because they have the best defense in the division, but they will have to get better play out of Cam Newton, but that is hard to happen when he doesn’t have a strong supporting cast.

If the Panthers miss the playoffs it’ll be easy to point the finger at Newton even though he was set up for failure before the season began. Quarterbacks always receive the brunt of the criticism for losing, but with Cam’s past history of being somewhat immature about losing it can make things even harder for him. It’ll be a little different negotiating a contract off of a losing season rather than doing it off of a good statistical season and a playoff run. The Panthers front office are ahead by 20 points in the fourth quarter with the Cam Newton situation, and they are just a point of way from making Newton and his agent to pass the sticks. i It’s a shame to see the Panthers front office set Newton up to fail in the wake of receiving a new contract.  Carolina Panthers GM Dave Gettleman knows he has a pretty damn good quarterback, but he wants to take the cheap way out by not giving Newton the money he deserves. We all know the NFL is the most cut throat business, and the conspiracy theory between the Carolina Panthers is Cam Newton fully supports my logic.

First week winners & losers for NFL free agency

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With NFL free agency a little more than a week old, we want to highlight a few teams who have made improvements to their current team and also spotlight a few teams who have weakened their current team.

With the NFL Draft around the corner some teams who are on the are on the losers of free agency they may be able to get off the bad list.

Winners

New England Patriots- The Pats lost CB Aqib Talib and added CB’s Darrelle Revis and Brandon Browner. They resigned WR Julian Edelman, which was smart. They also added WR Brandon LaFell to the corps. This has been a good seven days for the Pats, even a Pats hater can’t hate on this (haha).

Denver Broncos- The Broncos released CB Champ Bailey and didn’t resign WR Eric Decker, but replaced them with CB Aqib Talib and WR Emmanuel Sanders. They also added DE/OLB DeMarcus Ware and S T.J. Ward to the fold with was a hell of an improvement for the defense. Will the Broncos get tougher on offense is the question? No matter if they do or not they have been very productive during this week of free agency.

Tampa Bay Buccaneers- The Bucs released CB Darrelle Revis, but added CB Alterraun Verner (Titans). The Bucs also added QB Josh McCown, DE Michael Johnson, OT Anthony Collins. Lovie and the boys have made some good moves.

Cleveland Browns- The Browns got rid of QB Brandon Weeden that’s damn near enough to make them winners this offseason. They signed RB Ben Tate, LB Karlos Dansby and S Donte Whitner. They lost Jackson and Ward, but Dansby and Whitner are good replacements. Transition tagged C Alex Mack. These guys also have two first round picks in the upcoming draft.

Losers

Carolina Panthers- The Panthers let every receiver on their active roster go. Do they think Cam can throw it to himself? Receivers Steve Smith (Ravens), Ted Ginn (Cardinals), Brandon LaFell (Patriots) and Domenik Hixon (Bears) all are with new teams. The Panthers will need to grab a few receivers via draft. OT Jordan Gross retired. They did sign S Roman Harper, but how much will he help?

San Francisco 49ers- The 49ers kept WR Anquan Boldin which was a huge win, but after that crickets. We cut CB Carlos Rogers which was a good move, but after that they let CB Tarell Brown (Raiders) and S Donte Whitner (Browns) sign with new teams. They replaced Brown and Whitner with Chris Cook (Vikings) and Antonie Bethea (Colts). They have also traded for QB Blaine Gabbert and OT Jonathan Martin. These moves add depth, but I don’t think anybody wanted Gabbert and Martin but the 49ers.

Cincinnati Bengals- The Bengals have been getting pelt like a banana this off season. DE Michael Johnson (Bucs), OT Anthony Collins (Bucs) and WR Andrew Hawkins (Browns have an offer sheet on him) have been pried away from the Bengals. The Bengals still have a deep team and can replace the players through the draft, Collins could be the hardest to replace.

Dallas Cowboys- The Cowboys lost DE DeMarcus Ware (Broncos) who had been the face of the franchise the last decade. Ware was a cap casualty and they haven’t replaced him yet via free agency. They signed Cleveland Browns reject QB Brandon Weeden. I know he’s the backup, but really Jerry?