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April 16, 2007

More on Jenkins and Panthers

   Some random observations and notes:

   There are plenty of theories floating as to why the Panthers have put defensive tackle Kris Jenkins on the trading block. His long history of weight problems, his salary and other depth at his position are all factors.

   But there’s one other very important reason Jenkins Jenkinsis on the block: He has value, and that’s the main reason the Panthers are shopping him for a draft pick or picks. Think about it for a second: Heading into the draft, the Panthers have glaring needs at safety (probably two safeties), middle linebacker, defensive end and pretty big needs at wide receiver, return man and tight end.

   Realistically, you’re only going to get players who can contribute immediately in the first three rounds and the Panthers only have one pick in each of those rounds. Do the math. Right now, the Panthers have far more needs than they do draft picks that reasonably can be expected to start or play big roles right away.

   Dealing Jenkins will put them one step closer to filling all those holes.

   

All bridges burned with Jenkins

    There’s a school of thought the Panthers won’t take anything beyond a second-round pick for Jenkins. That truly is the current stance. But there’s also a school of thought that the Panthers will keep Jenkins if their price tag isn’t met. That school of thought is wrong. Once word got out that Jenkins was on the block, the bridge was burned. The Panthers don’t want Jenkins, even though he’s a better player than Ma’ake Kemoeatu and Damione Lewis, who will likely be the starters next season. The Jenkins’ situation has been brewing for several years and key members of the organization made the decision to unload him before he was placed on the trading block. Jenkins hasn’t always been happy about a lot of things and it’s hard (if not impossible) to imagine him being willing to patch things up.

Incentives for Carr

   There’s a little bit more to the two-year, $6.2 million contract signed by backup quarterback David Carr. It can actually be worth up to $7.7 million. In each of the two seasons, Carr can collect up to $750,000 by meeting certain statistical and playing time incentives.

Draft a receiver first? Could be ...

A while back in this space it was reported there were strong whispers around the league that the Panthers are strongly considering taking a receiver in the first round of the draft, even though the needs at safety, middle linebacker and defensive end appear more pressing. If anything, those whispers are getting stronger. The Panthers have a great receiver in Steve Smith and an aging Keyshawn Johnson, who was a solid No. 2 receiver last year. But there’s not much beyond that. Yeah, Drew Carter has a lot of potential and a big fan club, but what has he ever done to convince anyone he can be a starter? And Keary Colbert might not make it out of training camp. Getting another receiver makes sense, especially if that receiver (Ohio State’s Ted Ginn?) can return punts and kickoffs.

Salary cap status

    The Panthers currently are about $7 million under the salary cap.

Posted by Observer Sports on April 16, 2007 at 11:18 AM | Permalink

Comments

Yaz:

I'm seriously coming around to the Ted Ginn idea. We need SO much, SO fast up the middle on defense that there might not be any margin in going that route.

But please, please please, not a TE. Heavens, not a TE.

Posted by: JAT | Apr 16, 2007 11:43:32 AM

If the Panthers go any direction other than safety or linebacker, they need a solid O-lineman worse than a WR, as deep as WR is this year. But if they absolutely have to have another offensive "weapon", they'd be crazy to pass on Greg Olsen.

Posted by: Red | Apr 16, 2007 12:09:34 PM

You don't have to have a big name receiver to come in and produce, just ask New England and New Orleans.

Also, if they are going to pass on Safety and MLB in the first round then a D-Lineman or O-Lineman should be the other choices. That's where it all begins and we saw last year that is a fact. Plus, what happens if Peppers goes down? Who do we have behind him? That would be a hole the size of the Grand Canyon on defense if he went down.

Posted by: Matt A. | Apr 16, 2007 2:02:04 PM

I'm not a fan of trading Kris Jenkins, Teams set game plans for him which helps Julius Peppers get to the QB; however we do have solid depth at that position and another draft pick would be good. I do believe we should pick up Al Wilson whom was released from Denver because of neck problems; we should be able to get him rather cheap, and not to mention he lead Denver in tackles last season. I also believe that he feels that he still has something to prove (that he can still play...). A move like that would allow me to feel comfortable with the team choosing a Reggie Nelson or Gregg Olsen in the first round. My heart still says that we need to Draft Willis at LB if he's available. Wide Receiver regardless if the can run back kicks or not should be the last thing on our minds. There are a host of guys out there with blazing speed who can run back kicks in the later rounds.

We should look to pick in this order the first day:

1st Round - Patrick Willis (MLB), Gregg Olsen (TE), Reggie Nelson (S)

2nd Round - Aaron Rouse (S), Tim Crowder (DE), Manuel Ramirez (OG)

3rd Round - Antwan Barnes (OLB), C. J. Gattis (CB), Cory Anderson (FB)

Posted by: Caro2daheart | Apr 16, 2007 2:42:24 PM

trade him his weight will always be an issue an he'll never be as good ass he was in 03 damione lewis played real well last season an can fill his role not as good as jenkins but pretty good and the panthers want draft picks to fill other holes and jenkins will get a 2nd round pick........and draft GREG OLSEN in 1st round he's gonna be a beast in jeff davidsons system....the panthers haven't had a recieving tight end since wesley walls jake delhomme needs a security blanket instead of just trying to force the ball to smith when he gets nervous

Posted by: james | Apr 16, 2007 5:20:06 PM

This is bad news for the Panthers. I had not heard that Jenkins was gone regardless of trade outcomes, but I suppose I can't blame the guy. Pat, you're exactly right about our depth at the position. This is one of the few places on the team where we can really afford to get rid of some talent in exchange for depth.
From what I've heard, the best offer we've gotten so far is Denver's two 3rd-round picks (which are worth about a mid-2nd rounder combined, according to the NFL.com draft pick value chart), and this seems like a reasonable deal, given that it would leave us with 3 picks in that round, giving us plenty of options to move up in the 1st or 2nd if the need/desire presents itself.
I'm still of the mind that we should try to stockpile even more picks by trading down from our 1st-round spot, as none of the guys who match the value of that spot really fit our needs. If we had to move up to make sure we could snag Wills, though, I'd be all for it. We made a similar move a few years back for Gamble that paid immediate dividends (no matter how many stupid plays he made last year.)
As for drafting a WR first, I don't care what his skill set is or if he's the greatest KR on the planet. No KR can compete or do well with no blocking. This is the biggest problem we've had since O'Brien left as the ST-coordinator. Yes, Hester is good, but the Bears are as good at the fundamental skill of return blocking that their defense blocks on turnover returns as well or better than many other STs in the league. Ginn, in my opinion, is simply not a good enough reciever to use a 1st-round pick on. As stated on his NFL.com draft profile, he's more likely to be a KR who can contribute a little at WR rather than the other way around. That's not the kind of profile you should be spending a 1st-round pick on.
As for some of the "civilian" responses, I totally agree about Al Wilson. He has every right to demand a high salary, but if the price is right, I'd love to see him as a Panther. I have a friend who is a big Broncos fan who says the neck is not an issue, and he's been nothing but a quality guy on AND off the field during his stay in Denver. This is the perfect veteran who can show our young LBs how to play the game ON the field, rather than in NFL Licensed gear and a backwards ball cap (DANNY Mo!). As for Olsen, it's far too early to talk about the impact he would make in Davidson's system, considering we haven't actually ever seen it. This is his first time of having a chance to use an offseason to build an offense geared around a team's specific strengths and weaknesses, and Clevenland's lack of recieving talent and anemic running game may have had a lot to do with why Winslow thrived last year. TEs are rarely a sure thing in the League, as was shown in the performance of Marcedes Lewis, Joe Klopfenstein, Anthony Fasano, and Leonard Pope, some of the first picked at the position last year. These guys were all given the opportunity to win big roles for their teams and all dissappointed. Not that Olsen is in the class of those guys, but they were all speaken highly of in NFL circles before the draft.

Posted by: Michael Procton | Apr 16, 2007 5:57:06 PM

Trading Jenkins is a mistake and goes against the Panthers Philosophy of Drafting guys, see who the difference makers are, and pay to keep them. We know what we have in Jenkins and if you saw him play in the pro-bowl this year you would have seen that he still has it. How do you think everyone is going to feel if we trade Jenkins to get a 2nd round pick and get a guy that performs like ERIC SHELTON WHO WAS ALSO A 2ND ROUND PICK. Everyone acts like whoever we draft is automatically going to be great!

Posted by: John S | Apr 16, 2007 7:24:32 PM

As much as I would love to get a guy the caliber of Ted Ginn I really wouldnt even think about doing it unless we had multiple picks in the first round. The situation would have to be Ginn first and then grab Reggie Nelson or Griffin if we get say...the chiefs number 23. I really like Greg Olsen but if we had a chance to grab Ginn with multiple picks we would almost have to. Ginn, Nelson, and Zach Miller in the second would be an incredible first three picks. Im dreaming though becasue as of now I dont think we can get a first for Jenks.

However, if we are planning on unloading him anyways why would we not try to get something for him. If the deal hasnt been done by the beginning of the second round on draft day we should just take what we can get for him....which should be a second rounder at least or a packaged second and third.

Posted by: Matt Horton | Apr 16, 2007 10:39:23 PM

Rumblings out of KC suggest they're trying to get Jenkins for Dante Hall and a late-rounder, if not Hall for Jenks straight up....they're still dreaming.

Posted by: Michael Procton | Apr 17, 2007 12:00:12 AM

The fact is, Ginn isn't polished enough as a receiver. I'd be more looking to DeWayne Jarrett or even sidney rice in the second.

To be honest, our best bet would be to trade Jenkins for a second, use our first round pick on Reggie Nelson, our seconds on Weddle and Sidney Rice and then try to pick up some value from the linebackers. Buster Davis is tumbling down draft boards, Zach DeOssie will be a good player in the league and guys like Black, Waters (who Fox and Trgovac saw at clemson's pro day) Siler, and Rufus alexander will be available when we pick in the third.

We could come away with a lot of value in this draft, if we can get another second.

Posted by: Steve | Apr 17, 2007 12:17:56 AM

Do you think Weinke could play LB?

Posted by: dimbee | Apr 17, 2007 10:30:43 AM

I agree with the Panthers placing Jenkins on the trading block. Historically, the Cats have invested millions in injury prone players. Part of the game is playing, no matter how good you are. How else are team members supposed to develop chemistry...or even a swagger!

Take Reggie Nelson. A fearless hitter with range. Extra picks in the 2nd, 3rd rounds? Take another safety! This year's crop is deep. This only means that next year's crop is going to be shallow. Two impact safeties beneath the tutelage of Mike Minter (b/c you know he'll be the safety's coach next year) adds instant depth to a position the Cats will not have to address for years.

As for supporting Steve Smith and Julius Peppers, let Davidson use his creativity to employ an already offensively talented unit and place the ball in Smith's hands. NOTE: CAROLINA...PAY THIS MAN!!! Coupled with a lock-down secondary, Peppers and his front seven can use more aggressive schemes, packages and wreak havoc against their opponents!!!

Posted by: Cat | Apr 17, 2007 7:29:36 PM

Cat, great opinions, I completely agree!!!

Posted by: Will | Apr 18, 2007 1:09:07 PM

Rumor has it, Jenkins just eat another hamburger.

Posted by: Josh Lowe | Apr 20, 2007 5:34:29 PM

Rumor has it, Jenkins just ate another hamburger.

Posted by: Josh Lowe | Apr 20, 2007 5:35:32 PM

Rumor has it, my brother Josh, can't spell.

Posted by: John Lowe | Apr 20, 2007 9:21:57 PM

All of you Ambitious fans out there!! I am counting the days till the draft and every day that goes by without trading Jenkins is a better chance of us getting too The Super Bowl(possibly), THIS YEAR!! "Bridges Burned", From Ashes too ASPHALT or Concrete! Jenkins will be a Hugh force at Carolina or some where else!! We need HIM!!!!! 27 years old and going too be average?????? I don't think so!! He did not ask or even imagine getting hurt 2 yrs back too back, Just when EVERYBODY was Recognizing Him as a Nasty Force!!!!!!!!! DON'T SELL OUT NOW!!!!!!!!!!!!!! WE GOT TOO THE SUPERBOWL WITH HIM AND DIDN'T GET THERE WITHOUT HIM,, when Hutchinson and Alexander was BLOWING our right side (in nfc championship) of The D-line.. What were you thinking Carstens and Moorehead etc. was Deep enough, Do you Narrow Minded people remember(2005) when he went out 1st quarter and came back out with a Brace on after half.Jenkins was allowed to come out to play and was not sat down to evaluate Further!!! How many plays before he was out for the season! Who's decision was that???, was that BECAUSE pANTHERS FELT HE WAS FAT AND THAT WAS INEVITABLE He was going too get HURT????????????? I guess his shoulder being the first injury was because of his WEIGHT?? For all of you who don't know(I have been lifting Weights/Bodybuilding for 15 yrs.) Your weight to shoulder injury is small! Weight is surely not Healthy on the Joints, But not Critical too an injury Jenkins suffered Intitally(SHOULDER). Not playing at full impact for a year after, is Critical! Things can happen. He should not have been allowed to go back out after He hurt his knee!!! It's easy too pick on someone who has been down and not productive and not playing for 2 yrs, This is not TV,, past history serves NOT MANY HAVE BEEN A 100% after one year out much less 2!!!!!

Posted by: bt | Apr 22, 2007 2:42:58 AM

Understand this, most of your Absolute power is Natural! O-line and D-line is filled with Fat Guys, not Defined or Hugh, Cut guys... Name the greats and use that as a measuring stick, were They Massive Muscle???? They were mostly massive Meats, that were put together in the right places. The only guy that comes to mind that had a physique we all wanted, was Bruce Smith and that being years and years of maintaining that same body and productive at the same time. Jenkins is fat, but who's not???

Posted by: bt | Apr 22, 2007 3:31:12 AM

One, I do not have a brother. Two, John Lowe is an idiot. Three, I immediately saw my typo and corrected it. Four, rumor has it Jenkins just finished an other plate of ribs.

Posted by: Josh Lowe | Apr 23, 2007 8:36:54 AM

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