Since being drafted by the Giants in the second round in 2018, Giants G Will Hernandez started every game for the team until landing on the COVID-19 list last season. When he cleared the protocols, Hernandez didn’t get his starting job back, however, and spent the rest of the season as a backup. Entering his contract year, Hernandez will have another chance to start, but he’ll have to move to right guard and his leash won’t be long.
“Being reliable is one of the things I’ve always wanted to do and always wanted to excel in. Just having the coaches and the team know that they can rely on me for whatever it is, that’s something I’ve always taken a lot of pride in,” Hernandez said last November after being benched, via NJ.com’s Zack Rosenblatt. “But things happen. Life happens. What are we going to do at this point? Yeah, I was definitely upset. It means a lot to me. But I’m good.”
Panthers LB Jermaine Carter believes he can be a building block on the Carolina defense. Carter got a chance to prove to HC Matt Rhule‘s staff last season what he was capable of following an injury to LB Tahir Whitehead.
“Early in the season, they’d throw me in there, and I’d get a couple of reps and show them what I could do,” Carter said, via Darin Gantt of the team’s website. “But I feel like they fully trusted me Week 11 against the Lions when I got my first start, and we shut them out. From that point on, I felt like the job was mine to lose. That was my attitude about it. I felt like if I could get out there, then I could show what I was capable of out there, and I felt like I did that.”
Carter was able to learn from former Panthers All-Pro LB Luke Kuechly about the nuances of the position, and a different mentality of approaching the game.
“The most important thing is studying during your off time, just doing things on your own, watching film when you’re at home,” Carter explained. “Some things Luke taught me, I’d watch TV copies of other teams, pick up the verbiage they were saying, and he taught me so much of that; how to break down film by situations instead of just watching the whole game, like first down one day, third down another. Little things like that I learned from Luke, and I think it helped me a lot last year.”
Carter was excited to hear his name called by the Panthers in the fifth-round of the 2018 NFL Draft, and he took advantage of learning everything he could from Kuechly during their time together in Carolina.
“I mean, he’s going to be a Hall of Famer; he’s one of the best to ever play, so I definitely took advantage of it,” Carter admitted. “When I was in college, I’d watch film of him to see how he played, and when I ended up getting drafted here, it was a dream come true.”
- Saints RT Ryan Ramczyk’s new five-year, $96 million extension includes a $19 million signing bonus and is set to earn base salaries of $1.7 million in 2021, $10.5 million in 2022, $14 million in, $17 million in 2024, $18 million in 2025, and $19 million in 2026. He’ll also earn an $8.5 million roster bonus in 2022. (Field Yates)
- Ramczyk’s deal also includes a one-time $1 million incentive for earning first- or second-team AP All-Pro honors specifically at left tackle. (Field Yates)