Wide receiver Louis Murphy is thrilled about being reunited with college teammate Cam Newton and the opportunity to resurrect his career with the Carolina Panthers.
Hoping to add another downfield presence to take some pressure off No. 1 wide receiver Steve Smith, the Panthers acquired the speedy Murphy in a trade Monday with the Oakland Raiders. Murphy, a former Lakewood High and University of Florida standout, is hoping to beat out David Gettis for the team's third receiver spot.
Murphy called his new opportunity a "blessing."
"I like this offense because they like to sling it around and I like to go deep," Murphy said.
Murphy started 18 games with the Raiders in his first two seasons and caught 75 passes for 1,130 yards and six touchdowns.
But injuries limited him to 15 catches last season and he fell out of favor with the Raiders organization.
Murphy played two seasons with Newton at Florida before the quarterback departed for Blinn Junior College and then national fame at Auburn. Murphy said he got to know Newton during their time with the Gators and isn't surprised he turned out to be the AP Offensive Rookie of the Year.
Murphy said he knew Newton was destined for greatness when he saw him.
"NFL ready," Murphy said when asked of his initial impressions of the 6-foot-5, 245-pound Newton. "As soon as he walked on campus, he was NFL ready. Me and my dad talked about that a lot. I mean, just how big his calves were. When you see him, he's just humungous. He looked like he was ready back then and he's always had the mentality of a winner."
BENGALS: Coach Marvin Lewis banned his players from tweeting during training camp, a way of trying to get them to focus while they work out at their downtown facility the next few weeks. He imposed the ban after consulting team leaders about the social media crackdown.
DOLPHINS: Quarterback Ryan Tannehill, the No. 8 pick in the draft, agreed to terms and is expected at practice today. Terms of the deal were not announced.
EAGLES: Third-year wideout Riley Cooper (Clearwater Central Catholic High, UF) suffered a broken left collarbone and is expected to be sidelined for several weeks.
JAGUARS: Linebacker Clint Session, sidelined the past seven months with post-concussions symptoms, said he sustained two concussions against the Browns on Nov. 20 last season and now regrets staying on the field. He also said it's "probably too late" for him to avoid long-term effects of head trauma. … Jacksonville placed running back Maurice Jones-Drew on the reserve/did not report list, an indication officials don't expect the star player to report to training camp anytime soon. Jones-Drew is seeking a renegotiated contract.