The Carolina Panthers have a considerable amount of cap space to address their many needs this offseason, notably at quarterback. They created a bit more room by moving money around with one of their best players.
The club announced Monday that it has restructured linebacker Shaq Thompson's contract. It's the second year in a row the Panthers re-did the four-year, $54 million pact Thompson signed near the end of the 2019 season.
More guaranteed money is a deserving reward for the veteran linebacker, as he led a defensive unit that made considerable strides in 2021 from the previous campaign. Thompson topped 100 tackles for the third consecutive season, while adding nine tackles for loss, five passes defensed and a career-high two interceptions.
- Atlanta Falcons receiver Calvin Ridley was suspended through at least the 2022 season for gambling on NFL games during the 2021 season.
- The Cincinnati Bengals placed the franchise tag on safety Jessie Bates, NFL Network Insider Ian Rapoport and NFL Network's Tom Pelissero reported.
- The Cleveland Browns placed the franchise tag on tight end David Njoku and tendered exclusive rights to wide receiver Ja'Marcus Bradley, guard Michael Dunn and offensive lineman Blake Hance. The Browns are not exercising the option on fullback Andy Janovich's contract, which will make him a free agent when the new league year begins next week, per Rapoport. Janovich was a Pro Bowl alternate this past season.
- The New England Patriots are releasing linebacker Kyle Van Noy, NFL Network's Mike Garafolo reported.
- The New York Giants are attempting to rework linebacker Blake Martinez's deal, per Garafolo. The longtime starter is due $8.525 million in 2022 -- he counts $14.025 million against the cap -- and is coming off a torn ACL.
- The Las Vegas Raiders announced numerous staff hires, including offensive coordinator Mick Lombardi, defensive coordinator Patrick Graham, special teams coordinator Tom McMahon, linebackers coach Antonio Pierce, running back coach Kennedy Polamalu and Rob Ryan as a senior defensive assistant.
- The San Francisco 49ers announced several coaching hires, including former ESPN analyst Brian Griese as quarterbacks coach. Anthony Lynn was also announced as the assistant head coach/running backs coach and Brian Schneider will be the team's new special teams coordinator.