Thursday, March 14, 2013

Panther moves so far -- hmmmm....

This can't be a surprise to any of us, given the Panthers' longtime history of low-profile free-agent signings and their current location deep in one corner of salary-cap jail (see the post right below this one for more on that), but they haven't done much to improve the team in the first couple of days of free agency. On the other hand, I don't think they've hurt themselves, either. Let's take a quick look at the "major" moves so far in the first year of new GM Dave Gettleman.

-- Releasing Chris Gamble. This had to be done for salary-cap reasons, but I don't think it's that bad a thing. Gamble hardly played last year due to injury -- I think he was coming to the end of his rope. I don't know that his "retirement" will stick -- I have my doubts about that -- but to me the money Carolina was going to have to spend on Gamble can be better spent elsewhere. Ideally, I think the Panthers are going to need to take a defensive back in the first two rounds of the NFL draft and start him.

-- Releasing James Anderson. A little surprised by this one, simply because Anderson has been a solid player for seven years. He set a team record for tackles in 2011 with 174 (since broken by Luke Kuechly). I liked Anderson both as a person and as a "depth" guy, but he's definitely not as explosive a player as Jon Beason, Kuechly or Thomas Davis. Then again, there's no way you can count on all three of those guys staying healthy throughout 2013. The main problem was that former general manager Marty Hurney overpaid for Anderson. A player like Jordan Senn, who is cheaper and has signed a new one-year deal, will now have to fill that role. Still, I don't consider this a monumental loss.

-- Losing Gary Barnidge to Cleveland. Greg Olsen is one of the best pass-catching tight ends in the league. Unless he gets hurt, this will go virtually unnoticed. Good luck to Barnidge, who reunites with Browns coach Rob Chudzinski. In the meantime, the Panthers re-signed blocking tight end Ben Hartsock cheaply, and that's a good thing.

-- Signing cornerback Drayton Florence. A 10-year veteran, Florence is two years older than Gamble (but has only 18 career interceptions compared to Gamble's 27). The Panthers can use a veteran presence at the position, so this will help a little, but Florence certainly isn't going to step in and be a No.1 shutdown corner. Again, this is all about bang for the buck.

-- (Possibly) resigning Derek Anderson. This, to me, is the best thing Carolina has done so far (assuming it happens -- our Joseph Person says Anderson is "leaning" toward Carolina). Cam Newton has been very durable so far and let's hope that continues, but having a big-time backup like Anderson is a huge plus.

I'm also heartened that the Panthers have (so far) found ways to keep highly-paid veterans Jordan Gross, DeAngelo Williams and Beason on the team. All have been speculated to be finished with Carolina due to various money issues, but they've all got some gas left in the tank. To me, Gettleman hasn't taken a major misstep as of yet. But Carolina still needs to find some more bargain players who can play -- treading water in the NFL, as we all know, isn't good enough.

10 comments:

TisMeAgain said...

And what or why do you think keeping Beason around is a good thing? As I remember it, you also championed the overpaying and keeping of Dan Morgan.

Have you ever been correct about anything?

CharlotteO Moon said...

Scott, what were you expecting? I posed the trade of DeAngelo Williams to the Lions for DE Cliff Avril last year, but Hurney would never do it. The dollars would have worked...as well as the cents/sense! This Panthers team has to hold back on its money, in order to sign draft picks in 2013. The starting Cornerbacks on the roster are the same ones who we ended the season with. Captain Munnerlyn was a Nickel Back and easily replaceable in the upcoming NFL Draft. James Anderson is replaceable, too. Dwan Edwards may come back at a cheaper price, but the smoke has to clear, and another player's salary may have to be cut or renegotiated.
The Panthers need a Slot/3rd receiver, which will NOT be Louis Murphy. Again, the need could be filled in the Draft. The Panthers have lost no Offensive Linemen and Ryan Kahlil returns from injury.
This is NOT, I repeat NOT a playoff year for the Carolina Panthers. The best the Panthers can hope to do is finish 9-7 and show continued progress. Two more wins and a winning record is, in fact, progress.
Scott, the money is not there and the Panthers have too many holes which have to be addressed by rookies. The Panthers and their fans realize this, suck it up, and support the team in its quest for a winning season. All of us know what Hurney did to the salary cap and we just have to get by on what we have this year. Let us root for a winning record, as this Panthers team has only had 4 in its existence.

Anonymous said...

So Far I can do what the GM has done, well and everybody else on the planet can too......

Jason said...

To me, it seems like we could have parted ways with one of our RBs and drafted a similar player in later rounds to be a role-player and saved some cap space.

In any event, a weak secondary can be made to look good by an outstanding pass rush. We can do that if we get the right guy at DT.

Ken B. said...

I think hanging on to DeAngelo is a big mistake. The RB position is not as important as it was even 3 or 4 years ago. The Falcons abandoned their run first mentality this past year and were much more explosive offensively. Recent Super Bowl teams (Pats, Saints, Packers etc...) have done it with the pass and very little run support. We have far too many holes on this team to support the luxury of keeping two first round, overpaid running backs. Our third RB is more than capable of handling the load if Stewart gets injured. Cut or trade(unlikely) DeAngelo and use the money on more pressing needs. We need 2 DTs, 1 DE for rotational purposes, at least 1 CB, 1 safety, 1 good wide receiver, and another quality OL. When Hurney stockpiled RBs, I knew it was a mistake and especially when he had the opportunity to trade one of them and didn't. I think our new GM is a quality guy, but he inherited a mess......we don't even have a much needed third round pick this year.

Unknown said...

I hear crickets.......

Anonymous said...

Not enough money to remodel your house so you repair the deck, rescreen the porch, paint a door or two. That is all that can be done for the time being. Must draft well which has not happened in quite some time overall.

CharlotteO Moon said...

Louis Murphy just said goodbye to the Panthers.
1 year deal to play for the G-Men.

Hey Gettlemen, how about going out and signing WR Ramses Barden to a deal? The Giants already filled his spot with Murphy, so make an offer.

Davey Sprocket said...

The Panthers 3rd-round pick this year was Joe Adams, last year (in the 4th round). They are idiots if they keep both RBs at those salaries (as Hurney was an idiot to sign them for that much in teh first place). There is age and decline at WR, OT, LB and nodoby good at DT or S. They are a ways off from competing for a plyoff spot - Atlanta and TB got much better already, and the Saints figure to bounce back; Seattle/SF appear to suck on of the Wild Cards, and GB/Chi/Det/NYG/Dall/Wash are more in te mix for the other.
Just 4 winning seasons in 18 years - and the 2nd-place schedule: Hello 6-10

Scott Fowler said...

Re: TisMeAgain and that comment -- Mom, I told you to stop posting comments on my blog!
Scott