It didn't take long for former Washington Commanders defensive tackle Matt Ioannidis to find a new team. Ioannidis signed with the Carolina Panthers on Friday, two days after he was released by the Commanders, the Panthers announced.
Ioannidis joins the Panthers after spending his first six seasons in Washington. He has plenty of familiarity with Panthers coach Matt Rhule, playing for Rhule at Temple.
Ioannidis' release came as a surprise to his agents. Following the release, one of Ioannidis' agents, Alan Herman, took the Commanders to task, saying the team "lied to our face," according to the Associated Press.
Herman claimed he met with team officials at the scouting combine, where Herman was assured the Commanders would not release Ioannidis.
“They looked us straight in the eye, Rob Rogers, and Rob basically said to Jared and myself: ‘Absolutely not. We have no thoughts of releasing Matt Ioannidis,’” Herman told The Associated Press. “We don’t particularly care to be lied to to our face. I don’t like when someone lies to my face.
“They took him out of the free agent market now for two days. That puts us now at a disadvantage because other teams have paid other defensive linemen contracts, and [Ioannidis] hasn’t been able to take advantage of that. That’s not the way you conduct business in the National Football League.”
The timing of the move frustrated Herman, who believed it would be harder for Ioannidis to receive a contract. The Commanders released Ioannidis on Wednesday, two days after the tampering period opened up. The tampering period allows other teams to contact unrestricted free agents before free agency begins.
If Ioannidis was available during the tampering period, he may have received a more lucrative contract since a larger number of teams might have contacted his agents. By the time Ioannidis hit the market, a few teams had already reached agreements with other defensive tackles, which may have taken those teams out of the market for Ioannidis.
Ioannidis signing quickly does not invalidate Herman's point. Still, it must have felt good for Ioannidis to find another club so soon. After being discarded by the Commanders, it must have been nice to know another team recognized his ability.