As the Panthers' purge continues....
Carolina traded starting strong safety Chris Harris on Tuesday for Chicago backup linebacker Jamar Williams. Harris made news (again) on his Twitter page, announcing the trade before either team announced it.
This means the Panthers will have at least nine new starters out of 22 next season, as Sherrod Martin is expected to step in for Harris. It continues Carolina's tendency to get younger this offseason. Here's Darin Gantt's excellent story about the deal.
Will Harris's departure make a huge on-field difference? Probably not. Martin is pretty darn good. Harris had a great streak last season of being involved in at least one turnover for five straight games, but he also doesn't have the sort of speed that I think defensive coordinator Ron Meeks most values in that position.
Still, I'll miss Harris -- and his Twitter account. Now he knew how to use Twitter! He didn't use it just to post what he had for breakfast (and I saw him once at a Charlotte pancake house, so I can tell you the man liked his breakfast). He broke news on that thing -- first the release of Brad Hoover, then news of his own trade. (Harris and kickoff specialist Rhys Lloyd were by far the most entertaining Panthers to read on Twitter; now both are gone. Somebody in that locker room needs to step up!).
Harris also was a stand-up guy in that locker room and also a smart guy. Bet you didn't know he had a twin brother who is a university professor. When he began his career with Carolina, he had an uncanny knack for causing fumbles, but that dissipated some over time.
What a good guy, though. The Panthers still have a number of those, but they sure have gotten rid of a bunch of them this offseason.