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November 16, 2005

Reyes playing his way to payday

With every win by the Panthers, right guard Tutan Reyes becomes more and more like Jeno James.

When the Panthers went to the Super Bowl two seasons ago, James was an average player on the offensive line. But the fact he went to the Super Bowl convinced at least one team, the Miami Dolphins, that James was worth a big contract.

In Miami, James quickly proved he’s ordinary.

Reyes fits the same profile, but he could have a big payday after his contract expires. Although the Panthers like Reyes, don’t look for them to pay him big money. Left guard Mike Wahle already makes a fortune, and the drafting of Evan Mathis this year was to prepare for Reyes becoming a free agent.

CAP WOES AHEAD? As long as we’re looking ahead to free agency, it’s going to be tough for the Panthers to keep all three of their top potential free agents – linebacker Will Witherspoon, running back DeShaun Foster and center Jeff Mitchell.

The Panthers already have $93.5 million committed to their 2006 salary cap. Nobody knows exactly what the cap will be, but it’s $85.5 million this year and it’s not likely to go above where the Panthers are.

Here’s a look at the rest of the Panthers who can become free agents after the season:


WR Rod Gardner

T Todd Fordham

QB Chris Weinke

WR Ricky Proehl

S Marlon McCree

DE Kemp Rasmussen

CB Dante Wesley

P Jason Baker

S Idrees Bashir


TE Mike Seidman

S Colin Branch

CB Ricky Manning

LB Vinny Ciurciu

DT Kindal Moorehead

Posted by Observer Sports on November 16, 2005 at 03:31 PM | Permalink


I think the top free agent we need to sign is Will Witherspoon he is a must in my mind and i also think we should have signed him before Dan Morgan.

Posted by: Kirk Pittman | Nov 16, 2005 6:46:43 PM

Spoon is worth the money, but isn't the likely outcome that Mitchell is on his way out? He is reaching the tail end of his career and has been a bit tarnished with the steriod accusations.

The question is who do the Panthers have to replace Mitchell?

Posted by: Ronan Ryan | Nov 17, 2005 6:01:27 AM

Who to keep?

I think age has to play a factor. Witherspoon and Foster are young talent that could play with Carolina for the next twelve years.

Mitchell has 3, 4, maybe 5 years of gas in the tank.

At the same time, Mitchell will probably sign at a discount in a later years, while Spoon and Foster are going to want big money.

I think our first priority has to be Witherspoon, the best of the three. Then try to get Mitchell into a respectible, but not huge, contract.

If there's anything left, we can go after Foster. But honestly, we need an upgrade at HB and I think we could better invest that money in a truly productive back.

Posted by: Jonathan in MA | Nov 17, 2005 10:09:37 AM

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