Carolina Panthers Holding On To Own, Quiet In Free Agency
The Carolina Panthers after a 7-9 season have been quiet this free agency making just a few moves in bolstering their secondary. They appear content with keeping their own as they have re-signed a plethora of their own players over the past two to three years including WR Steve Smith, center Ryan Khalil, both running backs Jonathan Stewart and Deangelo Williams, safety Charles Godfrey, and linebackers Jon Beason and Thomas Davis.
All of these re-signings over the years put new GM Dave Gettleman in a tough spot to work with when it comes to salary cap space so the Panthers have not been able to be aggressive this off-season. The Panthers have made a few quiet moves however in getting WR/ returner Ted Ginn Jr., snagging cornerback D.J. Moore, safety Mike Mitchell, resigned corner Captain Munnerlyn and possibly one of the best moves in resigning DT Dwan Edwards who was third in the league in sacks at the defensive tackle position with six in 2012.
Picking 14th in the 2013 draft does give them some versatility as there will be some solid players to choose from with the ability to trade down and get an extra pick or two. It is highly speculated that they will go either defensive tackle or guard. In a draft rich in defensive tackle talent they could likely have their hand forced if one of the three big-time defensive tackles in the draft Sharrif Floyd, Sheldon Richardson, or Star Lotulelei should be available, but this is not to say guard Chance Womack or another offensive lineman couldn’t go here if he is available.
All in all the Carolina Panthers success will directly be attributed to how well QB Cam Newton does in his third year. He will have to prove that last year was simply a sophomore fluke that many go through and really shine this season for the Panthers to find success. He could certainly use another play-maker in the passing game as Steve Smith is getting old and Brandon Lafells after three seasons hasn’t been a scoring threat.
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