Cory Littleton
refer to caption
Littleton with the Raiders in 2021
No. 55 – Carolina Panthers
Position:Linebacker
Personal information
Born: (1993-11-18) November 18, 1993 (age 28)
Spring Valley, California
Height:6 ft 3 in (1.91 m)
Weight:228 lb (103 kg)
Career information
High school:Mount Miguel
(Spring Valley, California)
College:Washington
Undrafted:2016
Career history
Roster status:Active
Career highlights and awards
Career NFL statistics as of Week 18, 2021
Total tackles:495
Sacks:9.0
Forced fumbles:3
Fumble recoveries:5
Interceptions:6
Pass deflections:30
Defensive touchdowns:1
Player stats at NFL.com · PFR

Cory Littleton (born November 18, 1993) is an American football linebacker for the Carolina Panthers of the National Football League (NFL). He played college football at Washington. He signed with the Los Angeles Rams as an undrafted free agent in 2016.

College career

Littleton attended the University of Washington.

Professional career

Pre-draft measurables
Height Weight Arm length Hand span 40-yard dash 10-yard split 20-yard split 20-yard shuttle Three-cone drill Vertical jump Broad jump Bench press
6 ft 3+18 in
(1.91 m)
238 lb
(108 kg)
33+38 in
(0.85 m)
10+18 in
(0.26 m)
4.73 s 1.65 s 2.74 s 4.32 s 7.11 s 29+12 in
(0.75 m)
9 ft 6 in
(2.90 m)
17 reps
All values are from NFL Combine /Washington's Pro Day[1]

Los Angeles Rams

2016 season

Littleton went undrafted in the 2016 NFL Draft. On May 4, 2016, the Los Angeles Rams signed Littleton to a three-year, $1.63 million contract that includes a signing bonus of $15,000 as an undrafted free agent.[2][3]

Throughout training camp, Littleton competed for a roster spot as a backup outside linebacker against Josh Forrest, Cameron Lynch, Ian Seau, and Matthew Wells.[4] Head coach Jeff Fisher named Littleton a backup outside linebacker to begin the regular season, behind Akeem Ayers and Mark Barron.[5][6]

Littleton made his NFL debut in the season-opening 28–0 road loss against the San Francisco 49ers. During Week 13, he collected a season-high eight combined tackles during a 26–10 loss at the New England Patriots. The following week, he earned his first NFL start and made one tackle in the Rams' 42–14 loss against the Atlanta Falcons.[7]

Littleton finished his rookie year with 20 combined tackles (15 solo) in 16 games and one start.[8] He was also won the Carroll Rosenbloom Memorial Award as the team's rookie of the year.

2017 season

On January 13, 2017, the Rams announced their decision to hire Washington Redskins' offensive coordinator Sean McVay as their new head coach.[9] Defensive coordinator Wade Phillips installed a base 3-4 defense. During training camp, Littleton competed to be a backup inside linebacker against Josh Forrest and Bryce Hager. Head coach Sean McVay named Littleton a backup inside linebacker to begin the season, behind Mark Barron and Alec Ogletree.[10]

Littleton ended the season strong. During Week 16, he recorded seven combined tackles, deflected a pass, made his first NFL sack and interception during a 27–23 road victory against the Tennessee Titans.[11] The following week, he collected a season-high eight combined tackles in a 34–13 loss to the San Francisco 49ers.[12]

Littleton finished the season with 36 combined tackles (22 solo), four pass deflections, one sack, and one interception in 16 games and four starts.[8]

The Rams finished the season atop the NFC West with an 11–5 record and qualified for the playoffs. On January 6, 2018, Littleton appeared in his first NFL playoff game and made one tackle during a 26–13 loss to the Atlanta Falcons in the NFC Wildcard Game.

2018 season

Littleton entered training camp slated as a starting inside linebacker after Alec Ogletree was traded to the New York Giants.[13] Head coach Sean McVay named Littleton and Mark Barron the starting inside linebackers to start the regular season, alongside outside linebackers Matt Longacre and Samson Ebukam.[14]

Littleton started in the season-opener against the Oakland Raiders and recorded 13 combined tackles (11 solo), broke up a pass, and made an interception in a 33–13 road victory.[15] Two weeks later against the Los Angeles Chargers, he had 10 combined tackles (5 solo), a pass deflection, and blocked a punt in the end zone that was recovered by Blake Countess for a touchdown in a 35–23 win.[16] During a Week 7 39-10 road victory over the San Francisco 49ers, Littleton again had 10 total tackles (8 solo), including two sacks. He also was credited with the first safety of his pro career after blocking a punt out of the end zone during the second quarter.[17]

Littleton has earned high praise in his first season as a full-time defensive starter for the Rams. Head coach Sean McVay said, “Can't really understate what a great job and what an impact Cory Littleton's made.” Defensive coordinator Wade Phillips also remarked, “I don't know that any linebacker is playing as well as he is in both areas. He's way ahead of everybody in the league as far as pass coverage.”[18]

On December 18, 2018, Littleton was voted to the 2019 Pro Bowl as a special-teams starter. He finished the regular season with a then-career-high 125 tackles, a career-high four sacks, 13 pass deflections, three interceptions, a forced fumble, and an interception returned for a touchdown in 16 games and starts.

In the playoffs, Littleton recorded seven tackles in a 30–22 victory against the Dallas Cowboys and 12 tackles in a 26–23 overtime road victory against the New Orleans Saints in the NFC Championship Game to reach Super Bowl LIII where they lost 13–3 to the New England Patriots. In the Super Bowl, he recorded 10 tackles, two passes defended, and an interception.

2019 season

On March 12, 2019, the Rams placed a second-round restricted free agent tender on Littleton.[19] On May 20, 2019, Littleton signed his tender for one year, $3.095 million.[20]

In the season-opener against the Carolina Panthers, Littleton made 14 tackles and intercepted Cam Newton once in the 30–27 road victory.[21] During 6 against the San Francisco 49ers, he recorded a team high 14 tackles and recovered a fumble forced on Jimmy Garoppolo in the 20–7 loss.[22] In the next game against the Atlanta Falcons, Littleton recorded an interception off Matt Ryan in the 37–10 road victory.[23] During Week 10 against the Pittsburgh Steelers, Littleton recorded a team high 14 tackles and recovered a fumble forced by Nickell Robey-Coleman on wide receiver James Washington in the 17–12 road loss.[24] In the regular-season finale against the Arizona Cardinals, he sacked Kyler Murray once and recovered a fumble lost by Murray during the 31–24 win.[25]

Littleton finished the 2019 season with a career-high 134 tackles, 3.5 sacks, nine pass deflections, two interceptions, two forced fumbles, and four fumble recoveries in 16 games and starts.

Las Vegas Raiders

On March 25, 2020, Littleton signed a three-year, $36 million contract with the Las Vegas Raiders.[26] He was placed on the reserve/COVID-19 list by the team on November 12, 2020,[27] and activated on November 25.[28] He was released on March 15, 2022.

Carolina Panthers

On March 20, 2022, Littleton signed with the Carolina Panthers.[29]

NFL career statistics

Regular season

Year Team Games Tackles Fumbles Interceptions
GP GS Cmb Solo Ast Sck FF FR Yds TD PD Int Yds Avg Lng TD
2016 LAR 16 1 20 15 5 0.0 0.0
2017 LAR 16 4 36 22 14 1.0 1 0 0 0 4 1 2 2.0 2 0
2018 LAR 16 16 125 90 35 4.0 13 3 48 16.0 48T 1
2019 LAR 16 16 134 78 56 3.5 2 4 16 0 9 2 32 16.0 32 0
2020 LV 14 14 82 56 26 0.0 0.0
2021 LV 17 13 98 51 47 0.5 1 0 0 4 0.0
Career 95 64 495 312 183 9.0 3 5 16 0 40 6 82 13.7 48T 1

Postseason

Year Team Games Tackles Fumbles Interceptions
GP GS Cmb Solo Ast Sck FF FR Yds TD PD Int Yds Avg Lng TD
2017 LAR 1 0 1 1 0 0.0 0.0
2018 LAR 3 3 29 22 7 0.0 3 1 0 0.0 0 0
2021 LV 1 0 5 3 2 0.0 0.0
Career 5 3 35 26 9 0.0 0 0 0 0 3 1 0 0.0 0 0

References

  1. ^ "NFL Draft Profile: Cory Littleton". NFL.com. Retrieved October 14, 2018.
  2. ^ Simmons, Myles (May 4, 2016). "Rams sign 19 undrafted free agents". TheRams.com. Archived from the original on September 7, 2017. Retrieved October 23, 2016.
  3. ^ "Spotrac.com: Cory Littleton contract". Spotrac.com. Retrieved October 14, 2018.
  4. ^ "2016 Rams Roster Preview: LB Nicholas Grigsby On The Ascent". turfshowtimes.com. June 8, 2016. Retrieved October 14, 2018.
  5. ^ "Ourlads.com: Los Angeles Rams Depth Chart: 09/01/2016". Ourlads.com. Retrieved October 14, 2018.
  6. ^ "2016 LA Rams Week 1 Depth Chart Projection". turfshowtimes.com. September 6, 2016. Retrieved October 14, 2018.
  7. ^ "NFL Player stats: Cory Littleton (2016)". NFL.com. Retrieved October 14, 2018.
  8. ^ a b "NFL Player stats: Cory Littleton (career)". NFL.com. Retrieved October 14, 2018.
  9. ^ "Rams hire Redskins OC Sean McVay as head coach". ESPN.com. January 13, 2017. Retrieved October 14, 2018.
  10. ^ DaSilva, Cameron (September 5, 2017). "Rams release first depth chart of regular season". theramswire.usatoday.com. Retrieved October 14, 2018.
  11. ^ "NFL Game Center: Week 16-2017: Los Angeles Rams at Tennessee Titans". NFL.com. Retrieved October 14, 2018.
  12. ^ "NFL Player stats: Cory Littleton (2017)". NFL.com. Retrieved October 14, 2018.
  13. ^ Broner, Tevin (July 21, 2018). "2018 Los Angeles Rams Roster Preview: Will the rollercoaster continue for ILB Ramik Wilson?". turfshowtimes.com. Retrieved October 14, 2018.
  14. ^ DaSilva, Cameron (September 4, 2018). "Rams Week 1 depth chart: Kelly is No. 4 RB, Littleton starting next to Barron". theramswire.usatoday.com. Retrieved October 14, 2018.
  15. ^ "NFL Player stats: Cory Littleton (2018)". NFL.com. Retrieved October 14, 2018.
  16. ^ "NFL Player stats: Cory Littleton (2018)".
  17. ^ "NFL Player stats: Cory Littleton (2018)".
  18. ^ "Rams linebacker Cory Littleton continues to draw praise with stellar play".
  19. ^ Simmons, Myles (March 12, 2019). "Rams tender restricted free agents, exclusive rights free agents". TheRams.com.
  20. ^ Gantt, Darin (May 20, 2019). "Rams re-sign linebacker Cory Littleton". Yahoo.com.
  21. ^ "Goff, Gurley lead Rams to 30-27 win over Panthers". www.espn.com. September 8, 2019. Retrieved September 8, 2019.
  22. ^ "49ers remain unbeaten with 20-7 win over slumping Rams". www.espn.com. October 13, 2019. Retrieved October 13, 2019.
  23. ^ "Rams snap skid by beating Falcons 37-10 as Ryan hurts ankle". www.espn.com. October 20, 2019. Retrieved October 20, 2019.
  24. ^ "Steelers defense leads way in 17-12 win over Rams". www.espn.com. November 10, 2019. Retrieved November 10, 2019.
  25. ^ "Rams say goodbye to Coliseum with 31-24 win over Cardinals". www.espn.com. Associated Press. December 29, 2019. Retrieved December 29, 2019.
  26. ^ Gordon, Grant (March 17, 2020). "Raiders signing Cory Littleton to 3-yr, $36M deal". NFL.com.
  27. ^ Alper, Josh (November 12, 2020). "Raiders put Cory Littleton on COVID-19 list". NBCSports.com. Retrieved December 19, 2020.
  28. ^ Damien, Levi (November 25, 2020). "Raiders LB Cory Littleton returns to practice, coming off reserve/COVID-19 list". USAToday.com. Retrieved December 19, 2020.
  29. ^ Gantt, Darin (March 20, 2022). "Panthers agree to terms with Cory Littleton". Panthers.com.