For this free agent signing, and all signings from this point forward, we will be breaking the move down into four categories. Each category is worth up to 25 points and a final grade will be handed out based on the total score. These are the definitions of each category:
Player- How has the player produced to this point in his career? Where does he rank among other players at his position?
Team Fit- How does he fit within the offensive or defensive scheme?
Team Need- Is this position a weak spot on the roster? Does this move strengthen the position?
Contract- Is this a reasonable contract based on production? Did the team over spend or did they get a steal?
Score: 21 out of 25
Jordan Todman was drafted by the San Diego Chargers in the sixth round of the 2011 NFL Draft. He spent his first few seasons in the league on the Chargers and Vikings’ practice squads before finding playing time with the Jacksonville Jaguars. The last two years he has really excelled as a kickoff return man with averages of 27.3 yards in 2013 and 25.6 in 2014, which both totals ranked in the Top 10 in the NFL.
Todman also has seen an increased role in Jacksonville on offense. The past two seasons he has carried the ball 108 times for 450 yards and three touchdowns. The strength of Todman’s game though may be his ability to catch the ball out of the backfield. The past two seasons he has caught 39 passes for 314 yards for an average of 8.1 yards per reception.
Score: 23 out of 25
Todman will most likely compete for the kickoff return job with recently signed Ted Ginn Jr., who is back with Carolina after a one year stint with the Arizona Cardinals. At this point in the offseason, and before the NFL Draft, it would make sense for Todman to be the team’s primary kickoff return man and Ginn Jr. as the team’s primary punt return man.
As for the offensive side of the ball, Todman could develop himself a nice little role as a Darren Sproles type weapon in the Panthers’ offense. He is not the type of running back who can be a featured back in an offense. However given five or six touches a game, either running or catching the ball out of the backfield, could be an excellent piece for Cam Newton and this offense to use in 2015.
Score: 22 out of 25
Last season, the Carolina Panthers struggled on special teams and finished the season 24th in yards per kickoff return with an average of 21.8 yards. The addition of Todman is an immediate boost in this category with his average of 26.5 yards per return the past two seasons.
Score: 25 out of 25
The financial terms of the contract have yet to be released but Todman signed a one-year deal with the Carolina Panthers. This contract falls in line with one of the themes this offseason for the Panthers which is short term contracts. The team has yet to sign a player to a contract for more than two years. This is another low-risk contract that could end up being a great value for the team.
Score: 91 out of 100
These types of signings don’t make huge headlines in the NFL, however these are the little moves that make a big difference to a team’s success. A player like Jordan Todman can impact the team’s success a number of different ways. He has proven to be one of the top kickoff return man in the NFL the past few seasons and the Panthers offense could potentially see their starting position five yards further in 2015 than 2014 with just this one move.