This move was one of the most expected moves especially after the Panthers traded away Kony Ealy to the Patriots. Peppers returns to the Panthers on a bargain one-year $3.5 million deal. Peppers take his 143.5 career sacks back to Carolina and could move into fourth on the All-time list this season. Peppers is a very solid acquisition for this defense while the team brought back veteran Charles Johnson as well as franchise player Kawaan Short. The Panthers D/ST is shaping up as a top-10 projected D/ST this season especially if Luke Kuechley remains healthy.
Russell Shepherd signs a three-year deal to join the Panthers. Shepherd spent the past four seasons with the Buccaneers but was only able to see snaps once Vincent Jackson went down. Shepherd looks to provide depth with Ted Ginn in New Orleans but has only three career touchdowns.Shepherd is joined by Charles Johnson as players who likely haven’t fulfilled their potential or that’s what the Panthers are hoping. Shepherd and Johnson will fight with Devin Funchess for snaps.
Mike Adams signs a two-year deal with the Panthers after spending the last three seasons in Indianapolis. Adams is a solid acquisition for the Panthers who need some more takeaways next season. Adams has a career 25 picks so he could be another “Kurt Coleman” for the Panthers in the secondary.Adams is likely got a few more seasons left in him and he’s played at a high-level the past few seasons. It’s another solid addition to a defense looking for more takeaways and of course a winning record. This D/ST arrow is only pointing up.
Captain Munnerlyn re-unites with the Panthers after spending the past three seasons in Minnesota. The Panthers drafted Munnerlyn in the 7th round of the 2009 draft and he will return home on a four-year $21 million deal. Munnerlyn will be a solid upgrade at slot corner this season.James Bradberry is taking over for Josh Norman in Carolina while the Panthers are really trying to upgrade their defense and Munnerlyn will be a great addition. Daryl Worley will start opposite Bradberry and the Panthers could draft another CB.
Charles Johnson, formerly of the Vikings, signed a one-year $2.2 million deal with the Panthers on Friday. Johnson will slide into Ted Ginn’s spot on the offensive behind Kelvin Benjamin and in three-wide receiver sets with Devin Funchess. Johnson needs a bounce back season on a prove it one-year deal.With Ted Ginn now in New Orleans, Devin Funchess will likely be asked to step up along with Charles Johnson. Maybe the Panthers can revive Johnson’s career as they did with Ginn. Either way, Kelvin Benjamin and Greg Olsen will still lead the team in targets, receptions, yards and touchdowns next season.
NFL Network’s Ian Rapoport is reporting the New Orleans Saints have traded wide receiver Brandin Cooks to the New England Patriots for the 32nd overall pick in the 2017 NFL Draft. In an expected trade, Cooks was dealt to the Patriots in exchange for their 32nd overall pick in the upcoming draft. Cooks will lead a Patriots wide receiver corps that includes Julian Edelman, Chris Hogan and Malcolm Mitchell. With Rob Gronkowski’s durability in question moving forward, Cooks will serve as New England’s big play threat in 2017.
The Dallas Cowboys and wide receiver Terrance Williams agreed to terms on a four-year, $17 million deal. Williams will remain with the Cowboys on a four-year deal. He is tied to the club until the 2021 season. The four-year veteran, who spent his entire career in Dallas lining up opposite Dez Bryant, is a solid No. 2 receiver in the NFL and could be in line for a breakout year in 2017, his second season with Dak Prescott under center. Williams is a hit-or-miss fantasy option in most weeks, but will see an uptick in production when the oft-injured Bryant is sidelined.
Former New England Patriots tight end Martellus Bennett is signing with the Green Bay Packers. Bennett was never expected to re-sign with New England due to the money he would command in free agency. However, the Packers, who had a need at tight end with Jared Cook in line to depart, signed Bennett Friday. Coming off of a 2016 season in which he scored a career-high seven touchdowns, Bennett could have an even bigger statistical showing with the Packers in 2017 as their featured tight end.
Baltimore Ravens tight end Dennis Pitta agreed to a restructured contract to remain with the club. Pitta had an outstanding season in 2016, after not appearing in an NFL game since 2014 due to multiple hip injuries. Playing in all 16 games, Pitta produced an 86-729-2 stat line and earned the role as Baltimore’s top tight end moving forward. Benjamin Watson, who missed all of 2016 with an Achilles injury, is the only tight end currently on the Ravens’ roster who poses a threat to Pitta’s job.
The Washington Redskins and wide receiver Terrelle Pryor agreed to terms on a one-year deal. Pryor, a converted quarterback, had an outstanding year with the Browns in 2016, his first regular season as a wide receiver. He was rewarded with a one-year, $8 million deal from the Redskins Friday. Since Washington lost Pierre Garcon and DeSean Jackson in free agency, they had a need at wide receiver and filled it with Pryor, the best available wideout on day two of the free agency signing period. He is a WR1 in Washington next season, especially if Kirk Cousins remains on the club.
Patriots acquired DE Kony Ealy and a third-round pick from the Panthers in exchange for a second-round selection.This will be a big addition for the Patriots defensive line and will help replace some of the players lost in free agency. Ealy had an up and down year in 2016 for the Panthers and finished with five sacks and 19 tackles.
The Miami Dolphins have signed inside linebacker Lawrence Timmons to a two-year, $12 million contract with $11 million in guaranteed money.The Dolphins had to address their porous run defense that gave up too many rushing yards last year. The Timmons signing helps address that weakness. Timmons can play every down and played 91 percent of the snaps last year for the Steelers.
The Cleveland Browns have announced the release of Robert Griffin III.RG3 ended 2016 with 886 yards, two touchdowns, and three interceptions with 190 rushing yards and two touchdowns. Griffin was never able to establish himself as he only played five games for the Browns and from the beginning it wasn’t working. As of now it would be hard to see RG# starting anywhere. For the time being Robert Griffin III has zero value in fantasy football circles.
Washington Redskins QB Kirk Cousins officially signs his franchise tender.Cousins officially signed his franchise tender and is now able to be traded. The Redskins had mentioned that they are not interested in trading Cousins but the option is now there. Cousins threw for 4,917 yards and 25 touchdowns last season. If Cousins stays in Washington his value will stay the same, if he goes somewhere else- his value could go up and possibly even fall.
The Baltimore Ravens have announced that they will release CB/S Lardarius Webb. The longtime Raven will be released after the Ravens signed their top target Tony Jefferson yesterday. The 31-year-old Webb finished 2016 with 73 tackles, one interception, and one sack. Webb will have a nice market considering he has better than most coverage skills. Depending on the situation he is in will determine his IDP value.