July 03, 2014

Luke Kuechly named No. 15 on NFL's Top 100 list

Panthers linebacker Luke Kuechly comes in at No. 15 on NFL.com's top 100 players list this year, moving up from No. 79 last year.

Posted by Observer staff on July 3, 2014 at 09:57 AM | Permalink | Comments (18)

March 26, 2014

Video: Ron Rivera talks about cutting Steve Smith

Carolina Panthers coach Ron Rivera talked with reporters while in Orlando, Fla., for the NFL owners meetings. He discussed reactions to cutting wide receiver Steve Smith.


Posted by Observer staff on March 26, 2014 at 09:19 AM | Permalink | Comments (4)

April 19, 2013

Video: Analyzing the Carolina Panthers' schedule, draft plans

The Carolina Panthers have the NFL's toughest schedule in 2013. CineSport's Noah Coslov and The Charlotte Observer's Joe Person discuss this and Carolina's plans for the 2013 NFL Draft.

Posted by Observer Sports on April 19, 2013 at 04:54 PM | Permalink | Comments (21)

February 18, 2008

Gross likely to get franchise tag

Gross200p Barring a last-minute negotiating breakthrough, tackle Jordan Gross will get the franchise tag placed on him by the Carolina Panthers today, tomorrow at the latest.

The Panthers have until Thursday to make the move but team officials are leaving Tuesday for the league combine in Indianapolis.

The move essentially keeps Gross off the open market when free agency opens Feb. 29. Teams can still make him an offer, but the Panthers have the right to match and the other team would have to give up two first-round draft picks.

In order to put the tag on Gross, the Panthers will have to make him a one-year offer of $7.45 million, the average of the NFL's five highest-paid offensive linemen last year.

Carolina's long-range plan remains to strike a multi-year deal with Gross.

•  The Panthers might not get to look deeply into signing former Atlanta tight end Alge Crumpler until they return from the combine in about a week. The earliest his name will officially appear on NFL paperwork showing him as released -- thus clearing the way for other teams to pursue him -- is late this afternoon. Panthers medical and training personnel are all heading to the combine and it will be essential to give Crumpler a thorough physical to check out his knees, which gave him problems last season.

-- Charles Chandler

Posted by Observer Sports on February 18, 2008 at 09:47 AM | Permalink | Comments (12)

December 20, 2006

Jenkins not only one shocked

Posting a story on Charlotte.com Tuesday afternoon that said defensive tackle Kris Jenkins was selected to the NFC Pro Bowl squad was one of the most nervous hours of my life. The NFL wasn’t announcing the rosters until it kicked off its dog-and-pony show on the NFL Network at 4 p.m.

But I got the tip at about 3 p.m., from a very reliable source. My first reaction was to make him swear that he wasn’t pulling my leg about Jenkins. After all, the big guy hasn’t exactly piled up numbers like he did in his two previous Pro Bowl seasons. The sources said this was no joke, so I went with the story.

My parents arrived for Christmas right about this time, and I spent the first hour of our visit pacing my living room because I still couldn’t quite believe Jenkins had made the Pro Bowl. Finally, NFL Network made it official.

Jenkins had made the Pro Bowl, along with defensive end Julius Peppers and receiver Steve Smith. The last two were expected, but Jenkins was not. He’d come back from two seasons of major injuries and shown a flash here and there, but nothing to make you think he’d be on his way to Hawaii.

So how did Jenkins get there? First, there were some injuries to prominent defensive tackles in the NFC. Second, name recognition can play a role, and the standard joke is that once you’ve been to a Pro Bowl, you’re locked in. That might have worked in Jenkins’ favor.

But you’ve got to believe there is some shock and anger around the league when a player without big production, who looks like his weight may have ballooned above 360 pounds, is chosen.

I ran all that logic by a scout I know well, and he said it was all part of the reason. Then, he threw out another theory:

"What, did he threaten to eat anybody that wouldn’t vote for him?’’ the scout asked. "If the Panthers don’t make the playoffs, he won’t play again until the Pro Bowl (Feb. 10), and he could be like 420 by then.’’

Yeah, make the jokes. There will be gripes from other cities where defensive tackles felt they were slighted.

But the only thing that really matters here is that Jenkins is in the Pro Bowl, like it or not.

Posted by Observer Sports on December 20, 2006 at 03:37 PM | Permalink | Comments (3)

August 01, 2006

Will Proehl haunt Panthers?

Ricky Proehl could end up coming back to haunt the Panthers.

Word around the league is the Atlanta Falcons may bring in Proehl after losing receiver Brian Finneran to injury. The Falcons have made preliminary contact with Proehl's agent, but haven't made any offers. Atlanta's plan is to wait a week or so to see if any of their young receivers rise up or someone else becomes available. They can fall back on Proehl, who at 38, doesn't need to get worn out in training camp.

Proehl spent the last three seasons with the Panthers, but became expendable after the team signed Keyshawn Johnson.

Posted by Observer staff on August 1, 2006 at 06:05 PM | Permalink | Comments (4)