One of the most productive free agents on the market has landed somewhat surprisingly on a prove-it deal.
Standout pass-rusher Haason Reddick agreed to a one-year contract with the Carolina Panthers. According to NFL Network’s Mike Garafolo, the contract is worth a maximum of $8 million.
Reddick is coming off a breakout season with the Arizona Cardinals, where he collected 12.5 sacks and forced six fumbles. With the reduced salary cap, teams weren’t willing to bet that Reddick’s 2020 represents his new normal, so he’ll have to prove it again in 2021. He’ll have the opportunity to do so under coach Matt Rhule, who coached Reddick at Temple.
The Panthers are coming off a 5-11 season and are clearly eager to improve. This may serve as a prelude to an even bigger move yet to come.
Every year, we see NFL players across the league come into their own despite not having much of a track record. They can be all types; many are second- or third-year players who have matured and overcome injury or adapted to the NFL. There are others who were never highly-touted but find themselves in the right situation.
Each NFL team has breakout candidates. Here is a leading candidate from all of them.
Arizona Cardinals — Haason Reddick, LB
The 13th overall pick in last year’s draft flashed potential and appeared in all 16 games, but only started three of them. He still made an impact, with 2.5 sacks and two forced fumbles on the season. The Cardinals plan to move him to inside linebacker, where he’s been studying tape of Luke Kuechly and Thomas Davis. That bodes well for a big year two breakout.
Atlanta Falcons — Austin Hooper, TE
Year three could be the one that sees Hooper mature into a big target at tight end. His numbers improved last season, as he caught 49 passes and scored three touchdowns. A more prominent role and regular playing time could await him in 2018 and make him a Matt Ryan favorite. He’ll just have to compete with Julio Jones, Calvin Ridley, and Atlanta’s talented running backs for touches.
Week 2 of the NFL season was filled with excellent performance, but there were also a number of players and units that simply did not live up to expectations. Be it a star who didn’t produce or a group with a solid matchup who offered pretty much nothing, there were plenty of disappointments in this slate of NFL action.
Here’s a list of 15 major disappointments to come out of Week 2 of the NFL Season.
Ezekiel Elliott, RB, Cowboys
Sunday was going to be the day that Elliott, the reigning NFL rushing champion, was going to rise up and show us just how good he was against one of the NFL’s top defenses. The opposite happened. Part of it was the gameplan, but Elliott was dominated by Denver, getting an astonishingly inept eight yards on nine total carries. He had more yards receiving — 14 on four catches — than he did on the ground. One could argue that perhaps he was mentally impacted by the drama surrounding his suspension, but he rushed for 100 yards last week, so it doesn’t hold water. This was easily the worst game of Elliott’s professional career, and while it’s too soon to raise any red flags, it will be interesting to see how he bounces back from this.
Cincinnati Bengals’ offense