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Panthers DE Julius Peppers Starting Training Camp on PUP List

The Panthers are set to open their 2018 training camp, but a few players will not be on the playing field right away, starting camp on the PUP list.

Among them is defensive end Julius Peppers, who is coming back from offseason shoulder surgery.

Here’s a list of the players of who will be out to start camp.

Panthers QB Cam Newton a Dad Once Again

Saturday morning, Kia Proctor, Cam Newton’s longtime girlfriend, let the world know some inside news that no doubt will inspire Newton even more before training camp begins July 26 in Spartanburg, Mike Reader of the Charlotte Observer reports.

According to Proctor’s subtle Instagram post Saturday, Newton became a father again sometime Friday, this time a boy. The official Panthers Twitter feed confirmed the news by tweeting her Instagram post with the words: “Congratulations to Cam and his family on their newest addition”.

Details about his second son, including his name, remain sparse. Proctor’s post had more than 10,000 likes at about 6 p.m. Saturday.

Newton and Proctor have an older son, Chosen Sebastian Newton, who’ll turn 3 on Christmas Eve, and a daughter, Sovereign-Dior Cambella Newton, born in February 2017.

Report: Panthers and RT Daryl Williams Nowhere Near a New Deal

The Panthers’ contract negotiations with representatives for right tackle Daryl Williams face a “monster gap” financially between the player and the team, Jourdan Rodrigue of the Charlotte Observer reports.

A league source said Tuesday that it would be “shocking” if a contract extension happened for Williams before training camp in July.

Williams, a fourth-round pick out of Oklahoma in 2015, is eligible for an extension before training camp. He started all 16 games for the Panthers last season and played every offensive snap, finishing the year as Pro Football Focus’ highest-rated right tackle and with second-team All-Pro honors.

Williams said last week that he’s focused on staying healthy — and his upcoming vacation in the Dominican Republic.

But he also made it clear that he’d love to stay with the organization.

“I love the Panthers, I love the organization (and) I love Charlotte,” he said. “I hope I can finish the rest of my career here.”

Panthers Coach Ron Rivera Closes the Door on Bringing Back QB Derek Anderson

Panthers head coach Ron Rivera seemed to close the door Tuesday on the prospect of re-signing veteran free agent quarterback Derek Anderson according to Joe Person of the Charlotte Observer.

Anderson has been the backup in Carolina for the last seven seasons, and general manager Marty Hurney said the team talked to him earlier this offseason about returning to that role. Rivera says, however, that he expects Cam Newton’s backup to come from the group of quarterbacks currently on the roster.

Garrett Gilbert, originally a sixth-round pick out of SMU by the Los Angeles Rams, is currently the favorite to win the backup job but it should be noted that neither Gilbert nor any of the other QBs on the Panthers roster other than Newton have ever thrown a regular season pass in the NFL.

Anderson, a 12-year NFL veteran, turns 35 years old on June 15. He has thus far garnered no other interest on the free agent market.

Panthers Captains and Leaders Meet with New Owner Over New Anthem Policy

Panthers team captains and leaders met with new owner David Tepper on Wednesday in Charlotte, a team source told the Jourdan Rodrigue and Joseph Person of the Charlotte Observer.

The source spoke on condition of anonymity because the meeting was private.

Among the topics addressed was a policy the NFL announced Wednesday stating that teams can be fined by the league if players don’t stand up on the field during the national anthem before games. The policy states that players may remain in the locker room during the anthem if they choose.

The policy drew national criticism and was condemned by the NFL Players Association, whose governing members said neither they nor other players were consulted prior to the announcement by the league.

No Panthers players knelt during the national anthem last season. Veteran defensive end Julius Peppers elected to remain inside the locker room during the anthem in September, a few days after Trump’s comments.

Tepper was approved as Carolina’s new owner unanimously by other owners on Tuesday, a week after the Observer reported his $2.275 billion acquisition of the Panthers ($2.2 billion in cash).

Tepper can’t vote on NFL policy until July when the sale closes and he officially assumes control of the team.

He has previously been outspoken against Trump, but details of his conversation with Panthers players have not been disclosed.

Hedge Fund Manager David Tepper the Front Runner to Buy the Panthers

Signs are pointing to hedge fund manager David Tepper as the winning bidder to buy the Panthers, sources told the Charlotte Observer on Friday.

CBS and ESPN separately reported on Friday that Tepper is the leading candidate, and that the announcement could come as early as next week. A source also told the Observer that an announcement could be made next week.

Tepper, 60, is the richest of the known bidders who sought to buy the Panthers, with a net worth of $11 billion, according to Forbes. He’s also the only one already vetted by the NFL, as a part-owner of his hometown team, the Pittsburgh Steelers.

One of the sources told the Observer that Tepper’s bid was helped because he had the least complex finances and didn’t have a need for minority partners. The source also cautioned that a deal did not appear to be finalized.

Tepper could not be reached for comment Friday.

He visited Charlotte once in early April, and was in town again Wednesday meeting with team officials, E

SPN reported.

Panthers DB Coach Curtis Fuller Resigns – Rivera Says “It’s a Complicated Situation”

Panthers defensive backs coach Curtis Fuller resigned Wednesday, general manager Marty Hurney confirmed to Jourdan Rodrigue and Joseph Person of the Charlotte Observer.

Hurney declined to comment on the nature of the situation, including the reason for resignation.

Responding to a question at Quail Hollow Club, head coach Ron Rivera said “it’s a complicated situation.”

Multiple requests for comment from team spokesman Steven Drummond were not answered.

Fuller, 39, had been an assistant coach with the Panthers since 2013. He served as the assistant defensive backs/nickels coach in 2016, assistant special teams/nickels coach in 2015, defensive assistant/defensive backs coach in 2014 and coaching assistant in 2013.

Could Cameron Artis-Payne Find His Way in the Panthers Starting Backfield in 2018?

Cameron Artis-Payne will reportedly get a “real shot” to replace Jonathan Stewart in the Panthers’ run game according to Max Henson of Panthers.com.

One of the most confounding non-moves of the draft was the Panthers failure to pick up a running back after releasing their long-time starter Stewart. That leaves the 27-year-old Artis-Payne as basically the only option to be the “big back” complement to 2017 No.8-overall pick Christian McCaffrey.

A fifth-round draft pick out of Auburn in 2015, the Panthers seem to tout Artis-Payne’s potential every season and pundits predict a bigger role for him but that potential never materializes. He has 99 career carries in three seasons, has very little role in the passing games, and held his own but did not flash star potential in three spot starts in 2016.

The Panthers will likely add a veteran to the mix before training camp but, for now, they seem to be betting on a McCaffrey/Artis-Payne backfield for 2018.

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