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March 01, 2007

Safety might be on shopping list

Don't let the Panthers fool you with talk about salary-cap limitations and a plan to be quiet in free agency. They're not going to go out and spend major money on a bunch of players. But they are going to try to make a few selective strikes to fill some of the holes of an 8-8 team.

Middle linebacker has been mentioned here several times. But another possible target is safety. We hear the coaching staff has felt out veteran safety Mike Minter on the free-agent safeties about to come available and asked his opinion on who he might be comfortable playing next to.

One possibility that's making the rounds is Seattle's Ken Hamlin. He's spent most of his career at free safety, but there are plenty of people in the personnel business that believe he's better suited to strong safety. Minter can play either spot, and someone like Hamlin could give the Panthers lots of flexibility.

Posted by Observer Sports on March 1, 2007 at 02:59 PM | Permalink


I agree and like the idea of bringing in Ken Hamlin. Our young corners (Gamble and Marshall) take a lot of chances, and experience at safety can make up for that. Additionally, let's not forget that he played alongside Ken Lucas, who can give insight into the locker room presence and character of Hamlin. Plus he played for Mike Holmgren, so I know he can bring a lot of what he learned from the future Hall of Fame coach to the Panthers defense. I don't know what kind of salary cap hit we would take for cutting Shaun Williams, or if we would just make him a back up at both safety positions.

Posted by: charlson | Mar 1, 2007 3:34:25 PM

What about former panther Deon Grant? hes going to be a FA, and he did a very solid job when he was here.

Posted by: Cameron | Mar 1, 2007 4:28:05 PM

mike minter is ass at free saftey put him back at strong saftey and get hamlin, or trade up to get laron landry because reggie nelson isn't a top 14 pick or draft levi brown and get brandon merriweather from DA "U" in tha 2nd round because mike minter is ass

Posted by: james | Mar 1, 2007 4:30:32 PM

charlson: If I remember correctly, Shaun Williams is a free agent, and the only safeties on the roster are Minter and (maybe) Nate Salley.

Dave @ Panthers FanHouse

Posted by: Dave | Mar 1, 2007 5:53:36 PM

brandon merriweather? you mean the same brandon merriweather who was running across the field bashing people in the face with his helmet and kicking guys on the ground? sounds like a real solid guy.

Posted by: tom | Mar 1, 2007 6:03:46 PM

I believe Minter is best suited for strong safety. Many of the times when people complained about Gamble getting beat deep, it wasn't all his fault. The free safety is supposed to stay as deep as the deepest receiver, and you would see both Minter and Gamble chasing the receiver. If Hamlin can't cover, there is no need having two guys back there that can't. Laron Landry would be a great pick, but I believe he will be gone by then.

Posted by: Jeff | Mar 1, 2007 6:06:02 PM

nah brandon merriweather only kicked somone not bash him with his helmet haha tha guys a good saftey tho

Posted by: james | Mar 1, 2007 10:52:37 PM

I agree w/Brandon Merriweather as an option. You can tie the lack of dicipline mostly to the lack of leadership @ the school, the Panthers have great leadership on defense and @ the head coaching position so I don't think that would be a problem!

Posted by: John | Mar 2, 2007 1:59:08 AM

Mike Minter is no longer with the Panthers! Heard it here first!

Posted by: Bruce | Mar 2, 2007 2:38:03 AM

Bruce you heard wrong;he just restructured his contract!!!

Posted by: john | Mar 2, 2007 6:27:20 AM

I heard he (Minter) was gone. hmmmmm hope I am wrong! He is a leader!

Posted by: Bruce | Mar 2, 2007 8:07:54 AM

A lot of good free agents out there now. Joey Porter would be a good pick-up. I read Chris Draft is a free agent. Someone mentioned that Shaun Williams is a free agent. Nate Salley was cut at the beginning of last year, but maybe he was re-signed or signed to the practice squad. I think drafting Nelson and signing Porter would be great for our defense. There are other FAs out there like Banta-Cain (OLB from NE), Kesviharn (FS from CIN) and Jerramy Stevens (TE from SEA).

Posted by: charlson | Mar 2, 2007 9:44:15 AM

You can go to nfl.com and check out a list of all the unrestricted free agents, all 307 of them. Lots of good players out there, but you never know who will fit into the system and who will be a locker room menace. I remember when Goerge Siefert spent a ton of cash on Sam Adams, Reggie White and Chuck Smith. Na'il Diggs and Chris Draft are free agents, too, so we're hurting at LB, TE and S.

Posted by: charlson | Mar 2, 2007 10:03:05 AM

Everyone is talking about DB's ??? Panthers really need to build the o-line!!!
Levi Brown good pick or get some free agent O-Line men and draft fa safty!!
How about a big back for goal line score!!!

Posted by: Dan C | Mar 2, 2007 10:18:55 AM

Deshaun Foster would be good on the goal line behind a good o-line. Last year we had three o-linemen miss games with season ending injuries. If they can all play healthy all 16 games, we'll be better overall as a team. There are som egood free agent linemen out there, too, like Gandy, Steinbach, Timmerman, Davis and Tobeck.

Posted by: charlson | Mar 2, 2007 10:33:52 AM

How 'bout some love for former Panthers S Deon Grant and TE Jermaine Wiggins... waiver wire specials that could make contributions.

Anybody that says Jermaine Wiggins doesn't deserve a roster spot has never seen him catch a pass in the backfield then hurdle a linebacker for a modest gain. No fear.

Posted by: stinger | Mar 2, 2007 2:59:05 PM

How about Micheal Lewis at safety, he has been a solid safety for the Phildelphia Eagles for the last few years and I think he could fill a spot at safety. Ken Hamlin would also be a good pickup but I don't think he was fully recovered from the off field head injury that kept him out most of the 2005 season.

Posted by: James | Mar 2, 2007 4:41:52 PM

michael lewis sucks in coverage thats why philly benched him we need a ballhawk saftey

Posted by: james | Mar 2, 2007 5:35:15 PM

Minter is fair on his very best day but safe for Fox and co. Williams was horrible and is gone. They need an athlete back there and no one mentioned thus far in this commentary fits that description. Panthers defense is WAY overrated.

Posted by: Chris | Mar 2, 2007 8:00:03 PM

I'm tired of talking about this free agency stuff. I watched the Rams sign Randy McMichael and now you guys want to talk about Jermaine Wiggins and Deon Grant. The Panthers are not going to sign anybody, no matter how good they are or what our needs are.

The Panthers D is very successful when the O-line is healthy and we have multiple 10+ play drives. If they stay on the field any real length of time, they get embarrassed. They went five straight games without a turnover last year.

Posted by: charlson | Mar 9, 2007 9:26:34 AM

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