Thursday, March 12, 2009

For Lucas, it was time

On a personal level, I'm sorry to see Panthers CB Ken Lucas go. He was a class act -- demonstrated most vividly by his forgiveness of WR Steve Smith after getting sucker-punched in the nose during training camp. Here's Charles Chandler's story about Lucas's release.

On a professional level, however, it was time. Lucas was a liability for the Panthers late in the 2008 season. Teams would throw the ball time and again at him. And while CBs Chris Gamble and Richard Marshall certainly weren't immune to getting burned, either, it was Lucas who was MFT (Most Frequently Toasted).

It's obvious Carolina really doesn't want Lucas at this point, and that's the right decision. Even after his release, he still counts more than $8 million in "dead money" against the salary cap this season. That's a ton.

But Marshall, honestly, is a better cover corner right now than Lucas. This position just became a spot of bigger need in the NFL draft for Carolina, too. The nickel corner in the NFL is practically a 12th starter on defense, so Carolina now needs to find one of those on its bench or at a modest price to defend against the 3-wide receiver offenses of today's world (New Orleans, Arizona, etc).

4 comments:

Chris said...

So why if Marshall is better than Lucas did they not just put Marshall in at the end of the year?

If releasing Lucas upgrades our corner play then Fox should be fired for not playing Marshall last year.

Clay K said...

The team played Lucas because they pay him a ton of money and expect him to play. As far as Lucas going... I have no hard feelings. I don't care. Lucas hasn't been the same in ages!!! I just wish we had traded him for SOMETHING. This sucks that he was released and we got NOTHING. Our front office is horrible at wheeling and dealing.

Matt said...

Clay, the Panthers shopped him around but no one wanted to pick up his contract. I believe Detroit had some interest in a deal, but Lucas refused it (can't say I blame him).

The writing was on the wall for this since the end of the season, I'm just a little surprised it hadn't happened sooner. Torry Holt's release would make him a fine addition to the Panthers, but I think the greatest need is the secondary right now.

Michael said...

Frankly, Lucas was blamed far too often at the end of the year for miscues by Marshall (who admitted as much) and Godfrey (who blew coverages almost every week.)