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February 29, 2008

Panthers to be methodical in free agency

While the Panthers have a good start toward clearing cap space with their recent additions by subtraction, don’t hold your breath waiting for them to make a big splash in the free agent pool.

First, there is a sense that Carolina can do its best work at two absolutely key positions – offensive tackle and defensive end – with its first two picks in the draft. There are a number of high quality targets at both positions this year.

There are other needs though, including running back (DeAngelo Williams can’t do it all by himself), free safety and likely another receiver. And the Panthers are paying close attention to the free agent field and the waiver wire.

"I think we’ll be active (in the market)," general manager Marty Hurney said Friday. "I just think we’ll be ‘steady active.’. "

My guess is that would be as opposed to splashy active.

Keep in mind that Carolina, with the franchise tag on tackle Jordan Gross, will take a $7.45. million hit from that. And that they still haven’t worked anything out with Julius Peppers.

And one agent said today, "I don’t think at this point the Panthers feel they need to do all that much in free agency, especially with their quarfterback (Jake Delhomme) coming back so well from his surgery."

And remember, while the team will eventually save about $7. million from the releases of Dan Morgan and Mike Walhe, that doesn’t kick in until June. 2.

Well, as Hurney said, they’ll still be players in the market. To me, ‘steady active’ means picking up a number of less-expensive free agents that the team feels can either help immediately or have been underrated by their former teams.


Posted by Observer Sports on February 29, 2008 at 09:51 PM | Permalink


The NFL network reported that Turner was in Atlanta for a visit today.

Do the Panthers have a visit scheduled with him?

Posted by: pslholder | Feb 29, 2008 10:07:42 PM

I think their approach is a good one. There aren't that many quality free agents in the market this year. Grabbing a few underrated players is a good move. I like the DE from Oakland. Maybe sign a T.J. Duckett or Ron Dayne to a two year deal.

Posted by: Jake | Feb 29, 2008 10:18:20 PM

SOme of the players I would like to see the Panthers go after. These aren't all the top guys at their position but I think they can contribute at a reasonable cost...

A> Sign Terrence Holt, S, just released by Cards (and plan to pick up another S in the draft)

B> Sign R. Colvin to play outside LB opposite T. Davis. Colvin was released by the Pats

C> Take a flyer on Jevon Kearse. If we can sign him for a reasonable amount I think it would be worthwhile to try to resurrect his career opposite Peppers.

D> Unless we go after Turner... I think Julius Jones or Mike Anderson (who ran well in Denver's zone blocking scheme) would be nice backups to DeAngelo

E> DJ Hackett

F> Draft priorities: OT, DE, S, LB, RB, OL, QB in that order

Posted by: Ryan | Feb 29, 2008 10:25:58 PM

Just my two cents here, but I think the Panthers don't have to make huge moves in the Free agent market, but they do need to make an impact. My simple thoughts: First go after another WR such as Johnson out of Arizona who is ready to break out. Muhammad is going to help but we can't stop there just look at what New England and Green Bay did to people when they went into their spread formation. It also opened the run game for them when they needed it someone like Johnson would help us get that. Secondly try and find a productive DE in free agency such as an Antwan Odom out of Tennessee, the backup out of Oakland doesn't seem like the final answer to me other than to be used as a hybrid DT/DE. I do think if Coleman is healthy though he would also benefit our pass rush and help the DT rotation. Then maybe look to find a serviceable safety. Nothing too flashy there, but it would open the door for a draft where an OT like Clady could be selected first round with a promising RB in the second and a DT and S in the third. Follow that blue print and I see the Panthers hitting the field without any glaring need in 08.

Posted by: Casey | Feb 29, 2008 10:49:09 PM

No, they dont have anything set up with Michael Turner and are not going to pursue him.I know alot of you have been posting ,blogging begging for turner to be a Panther but it is NOT going to happen.You can even read a couple of these inside the Panthers blogs and they will tell you the same.Sorry guys,No Turner.

Posted by: Ghost of Sparta | Feb 29, 2008 10:49:15 PM

More bad news Folks, you can quite thinking about Clady.He is going to Denver unless the Panthers trade up a spot to take him like Hasslett did with Brown.Clady has said his style is the zone like the denver broncos and that is the team he hopes selects him.Unless someone jumps in fron of Denver and drafts Clady,He WILL be a Bronco.

Posted by: Ghost of Sparta | Feb 29, 2008 10:53:45 PM

I agree with Ryan on what we need. I would love to see the Panthers go after Jevon Kearse. I think he could really add to our defense. The whole Turner deal apparently isn't happening. We NEED to get a good runningback out of the free agency. If DeAngelo for some reason happens to go down I don't think it'd work putting the game on a rookies shoulders if we draft a runningback this year. If Jacobs is available we should go after him. He is the best i believe of the "power" category which is what we need considering how we love to run up the middle so much. If nothing else if their wanting just a complimentary back...Julius Jones is a good one also.

Posted by: Dustin | Feb 29, 2008 10:56:32 PM

This whole "let's not make a big splash in free agency" thing bothers me- a lot. This just tends towards Fox and Hurney's reputation for standing pat and keeping under the radar. I like the cuts they have made, don't get me wrong, but now it is time to go out and sign at least one big time free agent. I know the pool is not extremely strong but there are some very nice DEs available along with some very attractive wide outs. I remember a little team called the Patriots went out out last year and made huge splashes and got huge results. If we continue along this line of keeping things status quo and improving soley through the draft, we aren't going to be anywhere near good for years. I'll be honest, I'm tired of it and and look for Fox and Hurney to be looking for jobs this time next year.

Posted by: Bob Niolte | Feb 29, 2008 11:04:14 PM

We need to grab McCree since he's available now. He & Harris team together will split some foreheads back there in the secondary. I'd like to see us get Donte Stalworth. I think he's a good receiver. Team him w/ Smitty & Moose and that's a good corp for receivers if you ask me. I'd like to see us bring in Stroud from the Jags at DE as well. This is totally pissing in the wind but I think maybe these guys will look at drafting Jonathan Stewart at RB rather than overpay for a FA. I don't think Turner wants to share the load w/ someone anymore after all his years w/ the Chargers...I think he wants to be the face of the franchise. So that leaves us drafting an OT & DT and with our picks we should be able to get quality players at both of those spots. MHO anyway.

Posted by: JT | Feb 29, 2008 11:39:02 PM

Great, this is exactly what I DID NOT want to hear. We're going to rely on the draft to fix our holes at tackle and D-Line? Even though the draft is pretty deep at those positions, given Fox and Hurney's draft history that is setting us up for disaster.
The status quo is what screwed us last year and the same thing will happen this year if Fox and Hurney don't sign some proven players at our positions of need!

Posted by: Haywood Jablowmi | Feb 29, 2008 11:58:04 PM

Well since Turner is out of the picture now...its time to be looking at Julius Jones or Jacobs. If they want a quality back they need to act now on one of these guys. Bringing in a rookie back to backup Williams won't give the results we need. As for the D-Line goes, this guy from Oakland...the whole idea I don't like it. I would rather them go for Jevon Kearse. Some people don't want him but between him and Peppers, or DE's would be awesome. Hopefully we can do something with Kemo...he's not putting up stats at all.

All in all the Panthers are yet again screwing up thanks to Fox and Hurney. If they were smart they would know to get the needed positions in free agency and not the draft. We need people with experience that can help us now..not down the road. If they create another terrible season then it could be adios to those 2. Which..is why i don't understand why their making these rediculous decisions.

Posted by: Dustin | Mar 1, 2008 12:39:53 AM

Good thing we play the Jets away. Going to Jenkins house.

Posted by: Panther Fan | Mar 1, 2008 12:50:52 AM

#2 RB - Chris Brown 6'3" 220 [102/462=4.5y/c, 5 TD]

#3 DT - Rod Coleman or Anthony McFarland

#2 WR - Bryant Johnson

#1 FS - McCree, trade or 3rd rd pick

#1 LT - 1st rd [Clady/Baker/Otah]

#1 RE - 2nd rd [Harvey/Groves/Jackson]

#3 OLB - 3rd rd

Posted by: Will Parker | Mar 1, 2008 12:53:26 AM

in 2009

Posted by: Panther Fan | Mar 1, 2008 12:56:50 AM

Chris Brown in free agency if we can get him and bring his TE with him from Tenn, Ben.

Posted by: BofA | Mar 1, 2008 12:59:37 AM

WIlliams is Not going to be our featured BACK folks,,, He is 3rd down, change up back..Stop dreaming.. If we don't get a STARTING RB, we will not be running and we will be wandering why we let Foster go.. The Only way Williams looks good this year, is if we get a starting RB via Draft or FA..period..

Posted by: Catsnmbr1fan | Mar 1, 2008 1:49:36 AM

Julius Jones I would love to have. He hurts us when he plays us. Better get him before Tampa get him. Foster to San Fran, he went back home, that will be good for him with Gore. Look out! Mike Martz. Gonna use him like Marshall Faulk.

Posted by: BofA | Mar 1, 2008 2:04:46 AM

"The Only way Williams looks good this year, is if we get a starting RB via Draft or FA..period.."

In all seriousness, how the hell can you make that accusation ? I mean , it's like just because another back his size called Reggie Bush has struggled in New Orleans because of their atrocious run blocking the last couple of years everyone all of a sudden thinks DeAngelo is going to as well ...if the Panthers improve their run blocking in all phases of the game (they already did by signing moose), I really don't see how DeWill can't succeed, nor has there been ANY indication saying he can't be an every down back being he's nearly the same size as LT, Emmitt Smith, etc... just give him the damn ball, then make that decision.. the Panthers need a "bulldozer back" to spell DeWill, and not the other way around if you ask me.. but give DeWill 20+ carries a game for christ's sake before we make ridiculous foregone conclusions about DeWill lol

Posted by: John Fox and Marty Hurny | Mar 1, 2008 3:04:29 AM

I agree..we can't jump to conclusion that DeAngelo won't work at starting back until we actually see for ourselves. BUT...we still need to get a power back either way whether he starts or not. Panthers are famous for their up the guy type style and the only way that works is if...you have a power back. Panthers...pleaseee go after J. Jones or B. Jacobs

Posted by: Dustin | Mar 1, 2008 5:38:04 AM

7-9 and we don't need any changes in FA. That's ridiculous we need some good players.

Posted by: PantherJarrett | Mar 1, 2008 8:06:48 AM

Are you kidding me. This is last year all over again. Marty thinking that this team will be good with the returning of injured players. I find it hard to believe that he will be the GM next year. Making no changes and bringing no FA has all the makings of a 7-9 season.

Posted by: JoshTB | Mar 1, 2008 8:35:43 AM

It is the 1st day of FA give this time and see how everything shakes out. Other players are likely to get waived also.

Posted by: Jeff | Mar 1, 2008 9:03:27 AM

All the moves they have made so far are to cut people that should have been gone years ago or to sign guys that are not going to help much (Wharton, really?). Moose may help but is not the same guy he was in 04. They let their best D lineman go for mid round draft picks, given their draft history and success that sure is wise.
All in all this is not the offseason as billed, if I were Richardson I would be getting directly involved to make sure they use some of this cap space to pursue some impact players like Turner, otherwise it will be yet another (and likely the last) offseason of empty promises and hand sitting by Fox and Hurney.

Posted by: Ben | Mar 1, 2008 9:17:48 AM


You hit the nail on the head!

Posted by: Steven | Mar 1, 2008 9:27:05 AM

I agree, this is starting to sound an awful lot like last year's "we're returning 21 of 22 starters" argument that Marty Hurney used to convince all of us the Panthers would be just fine. Here's to hoping he has more Beason picks than Shelton picks in this draft.

Posted by: Chad | Mar 1, 2008 9:56:12 AM

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