NFC South: Nick Hixson

Panthers make roster moves

August, 24, 2013
The Carolina Panthers began trimming their roster Saturday.

Quarterback Colby Cameron, punter Jordan Gay, cornerback Nick Hixson, kicker Morgan Lineberry, receiver Dale Moss, defensive end Louis Nzegwu, linebacker Ryan Rau, safety Ricardo Silva and guard Justin Walls were waived.

The team also waived tackle Bruce Campbell, receiver Kealoha Pilares and fullback Michael Zordich with an injured designation. The rights to players that are waived injured revert to the club’s injured-reserve list upon the next waiver period.

Saints announce practice squad

September, 2, 2012
I was mildly surprised that tight end Michael Higgins did not make the New Orleans Saints' 53-man roster.

I thought he did some good things in the preseason and would be backing up Jimmy Graham and David Thomas. But the Saints elected to keep veteran Daniel Graham as their third tight end.

Higgins is back with the Saints on Sunday. The team announced he has been signed to the practice squad. Receiver Andy Tanner, safety Jerico Nelson, cornerback Nick Hixson, guard Harland Gunn, guard Ricky Henry, linebacker Ezra Butler and defensive end Braylon Broughton also were signed to the practice squad.
The New Orleans Saints announced some roster moves Saturday afternoon. They signed veteran tight end Daniel Graham, cornerback Nick Hixson and guard Paul Fenaroli. They also waived linebacker Nate Bussey, cornerback A.J. Davis and guard Andrew Tiller, a sixth-round draft pick this year.

Tiller is expected to be re-signed and placed on injured reserve if he clears waivers.

The most interesting of the additions is Graham. He’s an 11th-year player, who had 117 career starts with the New England Patriots. The Saints have been a little banged up at tight end with starter Jimmy Graham sitting out Thursday’s preseason game with what the team said was a minor injury. Veteran backup David Thomas has a history of injury problems and Daniel Graham could end up providing valuable veteran depth.

Evening update from Charlotte

June, 11, 2012
CHARLOTTE, N.C. -- I’m settled into Charlotte, where I’ll be covering Panthers minicamp starting Tuesday morning.

The Panthers just announced a couple of minor roster moves. They have signed undrafted rookie wide receivers Michael Avila (San Jose State) and Lamont Bryant (Morgan State). To make room for them, they released receivers Wes Kemp and Chris Manno.

Now, let’s take a look at some other headlines from around the division.
  • Tampa Bay wide receivers coach P.J. Fleck had some high praise for Vincent Jackson's ability as a leader. That should be a real positive for the Buccaneers. They’ve had one of the league’s youngest receiving corps in recent years. Guys like Mike Williams, Arrelious Benn, Sammie Stroughter and Preston Parker. Plus, Jackson isn’t known for being selfish, like some other premier wide receivers. He’s got a reputation for being the kind of guy that will try to help young receivers.
  • Daniel Cox writes about how the Falcons have a chance to be one of the NFL’s best offenses in 2012. There still are a lot of unknowns, but I think the talent is in place for this to happen. New coordinator Dirk Koetter is going to have to be a little bit more creative than predecessor Mike Mularkey, though.
  • Mark Cook writes that Tampa Bay defensive tackle Gerald McCoy is fully healthy after suffering a biceps injury last season. That’s good news about a player that has flashed some promise when he has been able to play in his first two seasons. The Bucs really need McCoy to stay healthy for an entire season for the first time in his career.
  • NFC West colleague Mike Sando has a chart showing how teams fared in games decided by seven or fewer points last season. All four of Tampa Bay’s wins fell into that margin. The Panthers had only one win in a game decided by seven or less points. New Orleans and Atlanta each had four such wins.

Saints add four free agents

May, 14, 2012
After going through their rookie minicamp over the weekend, the New Orleans Saints have announced a series of roster moves.

The team has signed offensive tackle Hutch Eckerson, cornerback Nick Hixson, guard DeOn’tae Pannell and linebacker Lawrence Wilson.

The Saints also waived offensive tackle Dan Hoch, guard Nick Howell, linebacker Stephen Johnson, offensive tackle Phil Trautwein and cornerback Josh Victorian.

Hixson and Pannell are undrafted rookies that were signed after going through the camp on a tryout basis. Eckerson spent training camp with the San Diego Chargers last year before getting released. Wilson was a sixth-round pick by Carolina last year and spent two months on the Panthers practice squad before getting signed away by the Tennessee Titans.

As we told you earlier, assistant head coach Joe Vitt and the New Orleans coordinators are scheduled to review the rookie camp late Monday afternoon when they meet with the local media. We’ll see what Vitt and the assistants have to say and will bring you anything that’s noteworthy.