- According to ESPN’s Vaughn McClure, free-agent K Matt Bryant says nothing has been signed and he’s coming in for his tryout Friday like “any other free agent” to try and win a job.
- Bryant was due $3.5 million by the Falcons before being released this offseason, but the team hasn’t been able to settle on a steady replacement, which is why the 44-year-old Bryant is coming in on the eve of the regular season: “I’m a competitor, and the fire still burns.”
- If Atlanta elects to sign Bryant, he would have to have a minimum base salary of $1.03 million. His base salary last season was $1.1 million. (McClure)
- Bryant’s salary would be fully-guaranteed if he’s on the roster Week 1 because he’s accrued more than four years of service.
- Falcons K Giorgio Tavecchio’s minimum base salary is $645,000, while K Blair Walsh has an $805,000 base salary and a cap hit of $645,000. The Falcons currently have $3.3 million in cap space.
- Falcons DT Ra’Shede Hageman did not travel to Jacksonville for Atlanta’s fourth preseason game with a hamstring injury and could be waived with an injury designation this weekend. (McClure)
Panthers DT Vernon Butler will play in Carolina’s fourth preseason game, which isn’t necessarily what’s expected of a former first-round pick entering his fourth season.
However, Butler is in a tenuous position after the Panthers declined his fifth-year option this offseason. Butler has trimmed down to 315 pounds from 330 as he now enters a contract year.
“We’re excited to watch him, we really are. Because this is go-time,” Panthers HC Ron Rivera said via the Athletic’s Joseph Person. “This is a really important time of his career because he’s going into the last year of his contract. And he knows that. And he’s very aware of that.”
“He definitely should be a coordinator in this league, if not a head coach, because he understands the game from a different perspective, being in both football and basketball,” Johnson said, via Mike Triplett of ESPN. “I think the guy is a superstar waiting to happen.”