A Look at the 2017 Panthers Schedule with a Glance at the Good and the Bad

The 2017 NFL Schedule is out, and here’s a look at the Panthers slate for the upcoming season, with the home games in bold:

Sep. 10 at San Francisco 49ers 4:25 PM

Sep. 17 Buffalo Bills 1:00 PM

Sep. 24 New Orleans Saints 1:00 PM

Oct. 1 at New England Patriots 1:00 PM

Oct. 8 at Detroit Lions 1:00 PM

Oct. 12 Philadelphia Eagles (Thu) 8:25 PM

Oct. 22 at Chicago Bears 1:00 PM

Oct. 29 at Tampa Bay Buccaneers 1:00 PM

Nov. 5 Atlanta Falcons 1:00 PM

Nov. 13 Miami Dolphins (Mon) 8:30 PM

Nov. 19 BYE

Nov. 26 at New York Jets 1:00 PM

Dec. 3 at New Orleans Saints 1:00 PM

Dec. 10 Minnesota Vikings 1:00 PM

Dec. 17 Green Bay Packers 1:00 PM

Dec. 24 Tampa Bay Buccaneers 1:00 PM

Dec. 31 at Atlanta Falcons 1:00 PM

What’s Good about this Schedule: A three-game home stretch December 10th, 17th and 24th in three games that could decide if this team is postseason bound or playing for a high playoff spot in 2018.

What’s Bad about this Schedule: The month of October will be tough with three of their four games being on the road, with the killer being back to back against the Bears and Bucs.

Panthers Place the Franchise Tag on DT Kawann Short

The Panthers placed the franchise tag on defensive tackle Kawann Short Monday afternoon, Jourdan Rodrigue of the Charlotte Observer reports.

The tag is non-exclusive, meaning Short can talk with and potentially sign an offer sheet with another team, which the Panthers could match and keep him or not match and receive two first-round picks in return.

The move came two days before the official “tag deadline” and more than a week before Short was due to hit the open market as a free agent. He has until July 15 to work out a deal with the Panthers.

The projected value of the tag for a defensive tackle is $13.5 million.

Short was tagged just hours after the Panthers re-signed defensive end Wes Horton to a two-year deal, and extended defensive end Mario Addison’s contract by three years and a reported $22.5 million. Short and Addison were two of the top priorities for the Panthers as free agency approached

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Former Giants WR Victor Cruz Visits with the Panthers

Wide receiver Victor Cruz, who was released last week in a cost-cutting move by the Giants, was in Carolina this weekend for a visit withthe Panthers, Bill Voth of Blackandbluereview.com reports.

Cruz left town without a contract, the source said, and he’s expected to talk with at least one other team.

Gettleman was in the team’s front office when they signed Cruz as an undrafted free agent in 2010. The move sparked a rags-to-riches story that saw Cruz put up back-to-back 1,000-yard years beginning with the Giants’ 2011 Super Bowl-winning season.

Cruz would fit a position of need for the Panthers, who are looking for help in the slot after not replacing Jerricho Cotchery’s touches in 2016. Cruz could also fill the mentor role missing from last season’s wide receivers’ room.

Since tearing his patellar tendon midway through 2014, Cruz has totaled just 923 yards in 21 games. And late this past season, he lost some snaps to Tavarres King, who’s played in only nine regular-season games since the Panthers cut him ahead of the 2014 season.

Because Cruz was released by the Giants, he’s not an unrestricted free agent, which means teams don’t have to wait until the start of the new league year on March 9 to sign him.

Panthers Resign LB Ben Jacobs

The Panthers have re-signed the first of their potential free agents, reaching a two-year deal with linebacker Ben Jacobs, Bryan Strickland of Panthers.com reports.

Jacobs, a potential restricted free agent, returned to the team for the final four games last season after being released with an injury settlement just before the regular season started.

“I spent 13 weeks at home watching games on the couch and not knowing if I’d ever get the chance to play again. So when I got that call, I wanted to take full advantage,” Jacobs said. “I’m extremely grateful for the opportunity to stay with this organization because I love this place. I love these guys and this coaching staff. It feels like home to me.”

Jacobs played in every game in 2014 and 2015 and was a special teams stalwart, pacing the team with nine special teams tackles in 2014 and adding eight more in 2015.

Panthers Release Cornerback Robert McClain

Robert McClain

Despite starting in the Super Bowl just eight months ago, today cornerback Robert McClain finds himself out of a job after he was released by the Panthers.

McClain’s role decreased this year after Carolina drafted three corners, and also the team likely playing out the last four games of the season for nothing than pride wants to take a closer look at younger players.

McClain came to the cats last season and ended up as a starting cornerback in the playoffs after injuries to both Charles Tillman and Bene Benwikere.

He played 11 games and made six starts this season.

Cam Newton Speaks Out Over Stories Of Why He Was Benched Sunday Night

Cam Newton

Carolina Panthers quarterback Cam Newton called speculation over why he was benched for the first series of Sunday’s loss at Seattle “falsified stories.”

A lot has come out after Newton was sat for the first series of Sunday’s disaster in Seattle, and ESPN’s David Newton reported Thursday that Newton is staying consistent that it was a wardrobe situation that forced coach Ron Rivera to sit him Sunday.

“I violated the wardrobe [policy], and that’s it,” said Newton, who was punished for not wearing the required tie on the flight to Seattle. “You don’t have to dig into certain stories that I violated curfew, was out at a club, somebody was calling the room. I still stand by Coach Rivera’s decision, and that’s just a warning for everybody.

“At no point in time — or even still — do I think I’m above the law. I never thought that. I’m not that type of player.”

“When you start hearing falsified stories from the people that really know you, that’s when it really affects you,” he said. “And I haven’t.

Chargers at Panthers NFL Week 13 Capsule

SAN DIEGO CHARGERS (5-7) AT CAROLINA PANTHERS (4-8)

REGULAR SEASON SERIES

  CHARGERS PANTHERS
SERIES LEADER   4-1
STREAKS   Past 2
COACHES VS. OPP. Mike McCoy: 0-0 Ron Rivera: 1-0
LAST WEEK L 28-21 vs. Tampa Bay L 40-7 at Seattle
LAST GAME 12/16/12: Panthers 31 at Chargers 7. Carolina RB DeAngelo Williams has 144 scrimmage yards & TD catch. Panthers DE Charles Johnson has 2 sacks & FF.
LAST GAME AT SITE 10/24/04: Chargers 17, Panthers 6. San Diego RBs Jesse Chatman & LaDainian Tomlinson each rush for TD. Chargers’ defense limits Panthers to 263 total yards.
REFEREE Ronald Torbert
BROADCAST FOX (1:00 PM ET): Sam Rosen, Brady Quinn, Jennifer Hale (Field reporter). SIRIUS: 138 (SD), 93 (Car). XM: 384 (SD), 228 (Car).

STATS

PASSING Philip Rivers: 266-425-3353-25-14-93.0 Cam Newton: 203-371-2614-14-8-80.6
RUSHING Melvin Gordon: 251-992-4.0-10 Jonathan Stewart: 138-511-3.7-7
RECEIVING Tyrell Williams: 53-837-15.8-6 Greg Olsen (TE): 61-820-13.4-3
OFFENSE 367.8 346.0
TAKE/GIVE -1 -6
DEFENSE 360.1 369.6
SACKS Melvin Ingram: 6 Mario Addison: 6.5
INTs Casey Hayward: 7 (1L) Thomas Davis: 3
PUNTING Drew Kaser (R): 45.2 Michael Palardy: 45.2
KICKING Josh Lambo: 98 (35/38 PAT; 21/25 FG) Graham Gano: 79 (25/28 PAT; 18/22 FG)

NOTES

CHARGERS: QB PHILIP RIVERS has 4 TDs vs. 0 INTs for 111.9 rating in past 2 meetings. Ties for 4th in NFL with 25 pass TDs…RB MELVIN GORDON had 138 scrimmage yards (84 rush, 54 rec.) & rush TD last week. Ranks 4th in NFL with 12 TDs (10 rush, 2 rec.)…WR TYRELL WILLIAMS aims for 5th in row with rec. TD. WR DONTRELLE INMAN has 168 rec. yards (84 per game) & 2 TDs in past 2. TE ANTONIO GATES has 109 career TD catches, 2nd most by TE in NFL history. Aims for 3rd meeting in row with rec. TD. TE HUNTER HENRY ties for 3rd among rookies with 5 TD catches…CB CASEY HAYWARD has 4 INTs in past 5. Leads NFL with 7 INTs & 17 PD. LB MELVIN INGRAM leads team with 6 sacks. Rookie DE JOEY BOSA has 5.5 sacks, 9 TFL & FF in past 8. Ties for 3rd among rookies with 5.5 sacks. Rookie LB JATAVIS BROWN is 1 of 6 in NFL with 50+ tackles (51), 3+ sacks (3) & 2+ FFs (2)…PANTHERS: QB CAM NEWTON has 19 pass TDs vs. 6 INTs for 99.8 rating with 5 rush TDs in past 9 at home. Aims for 5th in row vs. AFC with rush TD. Passed for 231 yards & 2 TDs for 99.4 rating in last meeting…RB JONATHAN STEWART has 7 rush TDs in past 7. FB MIKE TOLBERT had 2 rush TDs in last meeting…WR TED GINN JR. aims for 4th in row with TD catch. Has 9 receptions for 195 yards & 2 TDs in past 2. WR KELVIN BENJAMIN has 5 TDs in 7 career games vs. AFC. Since 2013, TE GREG OLSEN leads NFL TEs in receptions (295) & rec. yards (3,748)…DE KONY EALY has sack in 3 of past 4. DE CHARLES JOHNSON aims for 3rd in row with sack. Had 2 sacks & FF in last meeting. LB THOMAS DAVIS has 2 INTs in past 3 vs. AFC. Since 2013, is only NFL LB with 400+ tackles (407), 14+ sacks (14.5) & 8+ INTs (9). CB DARYL WORLEY leads rookie CBs with 66 tackles. S MICHAEL GRIFFIN had team-high 14 tackles last week.      

What if the Panthers Logo Was Made in the Likeness of President Elect Donald Trump?

Donald Trump

Like it or not, next month Donald Trump will be the new President of the United States, and one thing that can’t be denied is it’s going to be an interesting four years in our country.

There’s been plenty of fun poked at the President elect, and one site – Uproxx, has taken it upon themselves to design every NFL logo in the make of our President elect.

Check out what they think the logo of the Panthers will look like made in the likeness of Trump!

panthers1

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