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March 29, 2007

Carr taking unique free agency approach

   PHOENIX – A few observations and leftover items at the conclusion of the NFL’s annual meeting:

  •     Indications out of David Carr’s camp is that the quarterback is considering a unique approach to free agency. There are potential starting jobs in Oakland, Cleveland and Detroit and it’s possible Carr could end up in any of those cities. The money would likely be pretty good. But here’s where Carr’s thinking has changed after talking to a lot of people he trusts in the last few days.   It’s not just about the money or the chance to be an immediate starter. Carr, who spent five years getting beat up in Houston, is starting to think the best thing for his career might be to go to a good team, spend some time as the backup and wait for his shot.  That’s why Carolina and Seattle could be attractive situations and the interest from both teams isn’t just cursory. The Panthers and Seahawks are very interested in Carr.  And don’t let all the earlier talk about Carolina’s salary cap woes fool you. There’s now more than enough room for the Panthers to make a strong offer to Carr when he visits early next week.  As of Thursday, the Panthers have about $9.5 million in cap space.
  •     It’s rare that coach John Fox says more than we can fit in the newspaper, but that was the case Wednesday as he chatted with The Observer at the NFC coach’s breakfast.  You’ve probably already read about the stories about the switch to zone blocking on offense, Fox’s admission that the team probably will draft a punt returner and some other items.   But there were a few other things we couldn’t squeeze into the paper. Fox, who doesn’t admit much during the regular season, admitted the Panthers will look for middle linebacker depth in the draft. He said the Panthers have lots of confidence in Adam Seward as a backup to Dan Morgan. But Fox said last year’s injury to Morgan showed the importance of depth in the middle of the defense.   Fox also talked extensively about tight ends and sounded like that position can be addressed in the draft. Fox made it sound like the Panthers aren’t looking for one tight end to do it all. They want to get three or four tight ends with different skill sets and substitute them into the situations that make the most sense.
  •     Panthers owner Jerry Richardson rarely does interviews. But he spent an hour with The Observer and the results of that will be in the newspaper in the next few days. Can’t give it away here, but Richardson touched on a bunch of different subjects. A few promos: Why he’s comfortable letting Morgan back on the field after a series of concussions, his explanation of why the Panthers have been quiet in free agency and his thoughts on the team’s ability to sign stars Julius Peppers, Steve Smith and Jordan Gross to new contracts.

Posted by Observer Sports on March 29, 2007 at 12:04 PM | Permalink


Well Panther fans the beginning sprint of the FA market is now done and the marathon is now starting. First, which ever QB we get to be Jake's back-up, I feel confident about next season. We have a lot of talent on this team and we are returning 20 of 22 O/D-fensive starters (K. Mangum and S. Williams). We are looking for 2 starters out of the draft and then depth. The Bears last year had a similar situation, fans grumbled, but with much the same players went to the SB. In the NFL teams are 3-4 PLAYS away from being in or out of the playoffs. So for all of you who are jumping off the bandwagon, please take a minute and ask your self, "Do I want to be a REAL fan or not." Go Panthers!!!

Posted by: Will | Mar 29, 2007 12:56:44 PM

Please do not assume that you may define what a REAL fan is. Many real fans support the team AND question what they are doing. It is our right! However, I agree totally that we do NOT need to make huge splashes in free agency. If the health card turns back to our favor, and we get some momentum, we will be right back in the thick of the playoffs.

Posted by: rt | Mar 29, 2007 1:13:54 PM

It sounds to me that the Panthers organization is stating the same things we've been saying in these blogs: we need another LB, a pass catching TE, and a safety. Returning 20 of 22 starters on a team that went 7-9 is not necessarily a good thing. We lost our leading tackler and a starting safety who wasn't that productive to begin with. Mangum was our starter, but he didn't catch too many passes. He'll be missed becasue of his blocking, but with a new offensive coordinator, we may be better off without him. The new guy is all about throwing to the TE, and we don't have a bona fide pass catching TE. Hopefully we end up with Willis in the 1st round, a solid TE in the 2nd and a solid S in the 3rd. If not, then maybe Olsen in the 1st rd and a starting safety in the 2nd.

Posted by: charlson | Mar 29, 2007 1:29:12 PM

I like what coach Fox is saying about the upcoming season. I think either David Carr or Joey Harrington would be an excellent addition to tha Panthers. Guess I'll keep my PSL's after all.

Posted by: Charlotte Fan | Mar 29, 2007 3:14:47 PM

There is great stuff coming from Fox and Davidson. They are going to make this year's draft very interesting and critical. There is actually a possibility they could draft a Greg Olsen, unfathomable in past drafts. They could also take Ted Ginn, Jr. to salvage their special teams. Getting Carr would be a much bigger coup than drafting either Quinn or Russell. He'd be a great fit for the Panthers.

Posted by: Dave | Mar 29, 2007 4:19:21 PM

Hopefully new OC will have a better system than old Henning. Dont get me wrong, I appreciate what he accomplished but thank GOD we dont have to see Hoover DRAW PLAYS anymore. I think maybe 5-6 a year is plenty,not per game. IF we can draft Willis in the first; then we are good to go. Maybe we can trade Colbert and Kemo and get a cornerback that wont get burned Every play.
That would be nice. Broncos have best CB's in the league now for a good reason...Peyton is in the AFC. We have to worry with VICK and the Bears..and thats it really. So we need fast LB's and Explosive Offense to dominate NFC. Sounds easy enough huh?

Posted by: patrick | Mar 29, 2007 6:35:37 PM

rt - Let me be more specific...a REAL fan does not start dumping on "their" team. I never said questioning them was a problem. What really gets me are these people who one year are riding the teams coat tails and trashing them the next. Either go and root or go for a ride.

While its on my mind -

To the general population - It bothers me when I am at a game with only a few minutes to go we are down by 6 and people start heading for the exit. COME ON PEOPLE!!! If some of you want to have a "business meeting" go some where else, and let the REAL fans in the game. If you are soooo worried about traffic, then DON'T COME TO THE GAME.

Sorry for the rant, oh and rt, only the first couple sentences are directed at you...unless you are going to start your car. j/k

Posted by: Will | Mar 29, 2007 11:22:08 PM

Please don't use Carr and Harrington in the same sentence. Unless it's, Carr RATHER than Harrington. Or something like that...
It is good, NO! Great too hear Something other than Fox and his typical Neutral Blah, Blah and hear alot of words that add up to Nothing. Maybe our Offense will follow suit this year.

Posted by: bt | Mar 29, 2007 11:46:59 PM

Will, thanks for the sanctimonious "I am the lord of the fans" post. We appreciate your school marm, 1984 lessons on how we should robotically act. Perhaps you should write a book called "PSL for Dummies" or "12 Steps to Becoming a Panther Fan." Look, we all spend our money and can do what we want. I don't jump on or off, but I know rotten football and rotten draft picks and rotten trades when I see them. And, the Panthers organization has made a ton of mistakes along the way. We are not blind followers...we put our money up and attend the games and leave as we see fit. Want to keep us in the seats? Put compelling football players and a true, fired up, organized team on the field and I guarantee you we will not leave. By the way, do you charge per the hour or by the post for your "fan holier than thou" posts?

Posted by: The Anti-Will | Mar 30, 2007 10:31:59 AM


That's a funny post, right there.

The Golden Rule: He who has the gold rules...and decides when to leave.

Take a Prozac Will.


Posted by: Robby | Mar 30, 2007 11:53:02 AM

Everyone talking about what a real fan is, I can tell to you I am a real fan. I am because I said I am, I didn't even read the book about it to know.

Besides all that madness, there will be several good players available at 14, and some good ones left when our 2nd rd pick comes around. We should get Willis, but Buffalo might take him. Or if Buffalo goes for a RB, then Willis should be ours. That guy is a beast and faster than most of our DBs. We can get a good TE in the 2nd rd and a return guy in the 3rd. If we do that, then we'll have to pin our pass defense on the DBs we already have. We can't fill all the holes in the draft, but it's a start.

Posted by: charlson | Mar 30, 2007 12:41:59 PM

We need to get off this David Carr wagon. He is going to cost way too much and simply wouldn't fit this system. The Panthers should be focusing on drafting someone like Levi Brown, Greg Olsen, or a Patrick Willis....There are better QB's in the market Carolina can get with their 4th round pick in a trade. Give it to Baltimore for their guy Kyle Boller. he's scheduled to only make $1.3m in his final rookie year contract. He has a rocket arm to let steve smith run those deep bombs and quick hit plays...Simply the guy was thrown in the fire early in Baltimore and you can see him peak. He'll at least challenge Jake for the starting job. Jake i love you and all, but the Rhein Fire Football team is calling for you back to NFL Europe. The time is NOW for Carolina ! I really like to pick sleeper QB's going to another team that fits the system i.e favre, hasselbeck, Brees, and so on. I have this weird feeling like many others who have said something about this kid Boller. I've watched him play recently and believe me he does have a little flash despite his criticism. Make it happen Fox or Hurney !

Posted by: carr.jr | Mar 30, 2007 3:23:47 PM

Boller sucks!! We have all seen this jerky in action! I would take Carr nine times out of ten, if given the opportunity. And if it were Harrington to be a backup six out of ten. I am glad you are not a talent scout, my friend.

Posted by: Jason | Mar 30, 2007 6:09:34 PM

I would take Harrington over Carr. His wins on the road last year in Chicago and Detroit prove to me the can be a winner with the right team. In order to make in the playoffs you have to have the ability to win on the road, especially if you have to go to your #2 guy.

Posted by: standpat | Mar 30, 2007 11:26:43 PM

I have a question to those who frequent this site. All sarcasm aside, it does not bother you when people cheer for who ever has the best record that year, or who is ranked #1? I am seriously curious about this. I want to understand your opinion.

For those who are quick to throw insults the way of the organization and team just remember this, these are people with their families and jobs on the line. They are working obscene amounts of hours with the goal of winning. There are 31 other organizations doing the same thing. There are fans for the majority of the league who genuinely believe they will win the SB (last year-Redskins, Dolphins, Panthers). It is easy to criticize from the side line. How about support for the team you cheer for, with understandable questioning. It's not like we are the Cardinals or Lions.

Before you send more witty quips about how I'm idealistic and what not, how about writing a response with facts. That way I can understand what your theories are based on (ie-rotten draft picks/trades?).

Posted by: Will | Mar 31, 2007 12:43:46 AM


Some of the decisions off the top of my head...How about:

1. Letting Spoon and Manning go.
2. Biakabatuka over Eddie George
3. Jason Peter
4. Sean Gilbert
5. George Siefert
6. Kerry Collins
7. Chuck Smith in free agency
8. Eric Shelton (so far)
9. Jordan Gross (servicable at best)
10. Rae Carruth
11. Punting Rozinski
12. Fasani
13. Dan Morgan (undersized...probably done)
14. Kemo (righttttttt...big guy no tackles or sacks)
15. Hartwig (nuff said)
16. Punting Berlein and Walls (PUT WALLS IN THE FREAKIN RING OF HONOR).

Just off the top of my mind. Lots of throwaways. Who built the stadium Will? Did you invest in PSLs. Or, are you outside scalping tickets. We are fans and investors and have a right to say what we think. And, last year I attended and screamed my head off...do you think it generated sparks of enthusiasm among the team? Hell, no, they yawned and lost. The team starts with Jerry and Mark and filters down to John and Marty. Everybody makes money - the players, execs, coaches, sportswriters etc. - if they lose...the fans - especially those who put the major cash to build the stadium - just get to pay for mediocrity and, yes, it pisses me off. Either we're going to go for the ring or they're going to ride the fans to another mediocre year and all collect their check. It takes players to win, Will. But, thanks for the ra-ra-ra, go team go and I love the team no matter what. I appreciate your junior high pep rally dude. Thanks so much for telling me how to back my team. Really.

Posted by: Anti-Will | Mar 31, 2007 8:52:45 PM

Excellent AntiWill,
I have to add a little since you have expressed alot for me, Thanks Again! I'll take it MAYBE TOO Far for Some Hardheads. Did anyone see the Documentary of "The Fan",it was either
VH-1 or MTV. One of The Fans was a Minnesota Vikings Fan True and True. Grew up there I am assuming! Anyway his past time was his NFL Team.. We as fans can relate! All he wanted was for his team too make it to The Super Bowl and win, Well they showed all season Clips, clips of the games and him watching. And He was Frustrated and Anguished because they were underachieving. I am not sure of the coach at that point, either Mike Tice or Dennis Green... Both Mike Tice and Denni Green have moved on with there lives, Tice-- OC of Jaguars and Green-- Former Coach of Arizona Cardinals. The Fan I talked about,, DIED FROM CANCER!! We all know Minnesota has not made it to or won Superbowl in a while!! When these Coaches take on The Position as Coach, BY GOD they take on more than a Job that supports there famalies and their precious time!! They take on a RESPONSIBILITY TOO THE FANS WHO SUPPORT!!! I don't mean Just PSL owners or people who buy tickets outside The Stadiums and get to watch first hand, but the hard working, sick people who maybe only buy Hats or a Jersey OR WHATEVER!!!!!!!! How many people fit in the stadium I cannot remember 60,000. Lets see how many Panthers Hats, Shirts or whatever that are out there! Small Fans That Are The MAJORITY that spend extra money maybe they don't have too show support! It is Far greater than a game to some, it can mean Maybe just Comfort and Possibly SOME MEDICINE THAT IS NOT AVAILABLE!!!!!!! SO DON"T COACH NOT to LOSE AND SAVE YOUR JOB, BUT COACH TOO WIN! I understand every team cannot and does not have The Talent too win every season and The Real Fan can see that(even sick ones). Team Fans know whether they have a chance or not, But don't take a Super Bowl Potential Team and Coach Not too LOSE and Short Change Fans...As far as Coaches It IS A Job on the Line and there Families adaptation to a new living area and then uprooted and moved away again. I have said more than enough, am I wrong? Maybe to Dramatic, But I will Bet Some People Say NOT!!!!

Posted by: fan | Apr 1, 2007 3:38:16 AM

You know, A-W, it's easy to look back 15 years and make observations on what we should have done in the draft and free agency, but 90% of those moves made sense and were justifiable at the time. What about Steve Smith in the 3rd round? What about Jake Delhomme (Pro Bowl/Super Bowl Quarterback) for $4 mil? What about John Fox as a no-name defensive coordinator to Coach of the Year?
* Ricky Manning was our worst option at a position of ridiculous depth, not to mention one who was fighting an assault charge at the time. Cutting him made PERFECT sense.
*Eddie George had a better career than Biakabutuka, but they were comparably rated by all the draft scouting services, particularly given Timmy's domination in the UM-OSU game that year.
*Kerry Collins continues to be in the league 10+ years after he was drafted by us. The character is questionable at best, but the talent is obviously there.
*George Seifert was already an HoF coach, and had done nothing but win before coming to the Panthers.
*Gilbert and Chuck Smith were both high-character veterans who people thought could contribute to the success of the football team...like Reggie White in his year here. Misguided pickups? Perhaps, but those were always signings that were about more than on-field production.
*Jordan Gross was "serviceably" an SI All-Pro as a rookie...that doesn't happen by accident. He needs the rest of the line to be healthy so he can actually develop at ONE position.
*Carruth misbehaved, certainly, but look at how much we have learned from situations like these. There has not been a guy of questionable character on the team in a while.
*Rosinski's situation is a disappointing one, but particularly from the perspective that we don't KNOW WHAT HAPPENED. Why don't you let the people in charge of their own business handle it.
*Randy Fasani was a 5th-round pick! What did you expect?
*Dan Morgan has done nothing but produce when he's on the field, and he had no injury issues whatsoever at Miami.
*Kemoeatu did not show up on the stat sheet often last year, but he did his job, which was to tie up blockers, leaving mediocre guys (Draft) free to have great stats.
*Justin Hartwig made it through three straight seasons of 15 starts or more before coming to Carolina. How could his injury have been predicted?

Posted by: Michael Procton | Apr 1, 2007 12:29:45 PM

Furthermore, the stadium was PRIVATELY funded (some of which was done through PSLs, I know), such that NOBODY was forced to contribute a dime if they did not CHOOSE to. It is your choice to remain an "investor", and if it is too much for you to handle, you should stop doing so.
--Rah rah, motherfucker

Posted by: Michael Procton | Apr 1, 2007 12:33:56 PM


Looks like you hit a little nerve with Michael, man. Actually, I loved your post...ever thought about being a columnist?

Anthony M.

Posted by: Anthony | Apr 2, 2007 1:06:44 PM


Looks like the Proctologist from Lincolnton has something up HIS butt, throwing out that F-bomb like that...


Posted by: Randy McNight | Apr 2, 2007 2:56:11 PM

a letter to the panther fans:

so now you have carr. good luck with him. all i care about is the fact that he's no longer here in houston. the biggest problem on offense was carr. he lacks leadership skills that a nfl qb needs to be a winner. you don't know it yet but after 5 seasons of loosing with him at the helm, you'll learn why we couldn't even get a 7th round draft choice for him in a trade. glad he's there and not here.

big dave
texan fan

Posted by: big dave | Apr 7, 2007 8:12:05 AM

uhmm... thanks! Glad to have 'em!!! :)

Posted by: tl | Apr 9, 2007 7:54:16 AM

You better hope Jake stays healthy because David Carr is Barney the deputy(from Andy Griffith for all you youngsters)!!! A fumbling, stumbling uneducated apprentice.

Don't you find it the least bit curious that he was dangled to every team in need of a starter from anything from a 4th -7th rd pick and the Texans had NO takers. Thank you for giving him another chance to stay in the headlines because he excels as a Peacock and the whole country will be ammused as he prances around your locker room as your new runway model!!!! Here is the book on him - great athlete, family man and strong arm - no pocket presence, cracks under pressure and does not see more than 3 yds downfield.

Say hello to his Daddy for us, he is easy to find, while the rest of the team is running to the locker room to prepare for battle David shares hallmark moments with his family heading to the tunnel!!!

Our offensive line was never the problem.

Posted by: No Longer Trapped in our Carr :) | Apr 9, 2007 10:35:15 AM

I feel like a fog, not that it matters. I've pretty much been doing nothing , but eh. Today was a loss. I haven't gotten much done for a while.

Posted by: vinyl tote bag | Aug 14, 2007 1:15:35 PM

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