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February 15, 2008

Wharton back, but may change positions

So  Panthers left tackle Travelle Wharton is back in the fold for the long term, despite the fact many Carolina fans considered him one of the team's problems last season, since he did allow  nine sacks.

But it's possible that the Panthers intend to move Wharton into the departed Mike Wahle's left guard slot, and the move from tackle to guard is much easier than going in the other direction.  Tackles are normally more athletic than guards, and it's possible  Wharton's athleticism, while not exceptional at tackle, could make him an outstanding guard.

That would allow the Panthers to attempt to add another tackle through free agency or the draft, but would create a logjam in the interior of the offensive line. If the team is determined to develop second-year player Ryan Kalil into a starter, he seems a better fit at center than at guard, which means starting center Justin Hartwig would have to shift to guard. Since the team still has Jeremy Bridges and Geoff Hangartner with starting experience at the position, the Panthers will have a lot of veteran bodies at the position.

There also is the option of moving right tackle Jordan Gross to the other side, where he's played before, but Gross is better on the right side. In any event, expect the Panthers to keep Gross, whether with a new contract or the franchise tag. And if nothing available suits the Panthers as far as acquiring another tackle, don't be surprised if they enter the season with Wharton in his old
position.

--Stan Olson

Posted by Observer Sports on February 15, 2008 at 02:33 PM | Permalink

Comments

Have the financial details for Wharton's contract been announced?

Posted by: pantherific | Feb 15, 2008 2:51:18 PM

Somewhere around 6 years 6 mil per year.

Posted by: Billy | Feb 15, 2008 2:53:52 PM

I'm curious - how many of those 9 sacks were when David Carr was playing? Those ones shouldn't count!

Posted by: Wayne | Feb 15, 2008 3:10:28 PM

haha, that's funny because it is true.

Posted by: Jerad | Feb 15, 2008 3:16:50 PM

I think Wharton would make a great guard for the Panthers. There are some good offensive linemen in free agency and the draft, so a good opportunity for the Panthers to solidfy the line for a number of years by drafting a good left tackle such as Clady from Boise State or Otah from Pitt. Good re-sign by the Panthers.

Posted by: JPanther | Feb 15, 2008 3:25:29 PM

I think Wharton would make a great guard for the Panthers. There are some good offensive linemen in free agency and the draft, so a good opportunity for the Panthers to solidfy the line for a number of years by drafting a good left tackle such as Clady from Boise State or Otah from Pitt. Good re-sign by the Panthers.

Posted by: JPanther | Feb 15, 2008 3:27:04 PM

I agree Jpanther, this was a good resigning. Far too often we've had the problem of not having enough bodies to have a healthy offensive line (remember the Nick Goings coming out party when we just missed the playoffs in 2004 and we were playing musical O-line after losing 7 straight). I think this creates a good "problem" by having a lot of "quality" gaurds on the roster. Now injury will not be an excuse for the line because we have two quality gaurds to back up Wharton and Hartwig. Now, what we need to do is (depending on what happens in free agency) is use the first pick on either a stud tackle or a bruising running back. Whichever one we get in free agency, we can address the other through the draft.

The beauty of it is that at both positions it is a safe first round pick! At those positions, guys can come in and be instant starters right away and we proved that with Jordan Gross. At running back, it is uncommon that you get a bust in the first round but it can happen. If we address both through free agency we can then turn our attention to draft a first round safety like the kid from the "U" to get Harris some help back there while we continue to develop Teal and Manual who I feel have great upside.

I know everyone is ready to dump Carr and I'm no different but as fans we must understand the business side of it. When you pay a guy that much money to be a back-up you must explore all options before just cutting him. As crazy as it may sound, somebody might want him on their roster and we need to see if we can get something for him first. There are some desperate teams for backups at that position (just look at ATL signing Leftwich last year...hell Harrington for that matter) and it would be unwise not to see if someone wants to take a chance on him. So we must be patient on that front!!

To this point, I am very pleased with the decisions management is making! Keep up the good work!!

Posted by: Jerard Waymer | Feb 15, 2008 4:41:52 PM

I think it was a great sigings for 2 main reasons, 1 if we lost him we have a whole new left side next year and, now that this is the second year since his knee injury he should be fully recovered.

Posted by: Billy | Feb 15, 2008 5:21:07 PM

Billy,
I think the knee does need mentioning. Guys normally are better in the second year after returning from major knee surgery, although it's not a sure thing..

Posted by: stan olson | Feb 15, 2008 5:29:32 PM

I read a base salary of 21 million for 6 years for Wharton

Posted by: Daniel | Feb 15, 2008 5:58:05 PM

As posted (MULTIPLE TIMES) before: WHARTON DEAL WORTH $6 MILLION PER YEAR

A league source tells us that the six-year deal to which Panthers left tackle Travelle Wharton agreed on Thursday has an average value of $6 million per year.

It's presently unclear, however, whether the bulk of the money is in the back end of the contract, and the amount of guaranteed money is unknown.

Wharton would have become an unrestricted free agent on February 29.

The deal appears to be a good one, but the going rate in free agency for starting-caliber offensive linemen has been seven years, $49 million.

UPDATE: Adam Schefter of NFL Network reports that Wharton will receive $12 million in guaranteed money, and $19 million over the first three years of the deal.

Posted by: Michael Procton | Feb 15, 2008 6:09:18 PM

Hey Procton, how about figuring out how many sacks Wharton gave up while Carr was in? That would easily be your most useful submission ever because then we would know how many sacks shouldnt count. After that, you could post it (MULTIPLE TIMES).

Posted by: That Guy | Feb 15, 2008 8:59:55 PM

I love to see Alge in Carolinaand believe he will be thier ,But i hoe that don't mean he's the playmaker recievr we're going after I will still love to see us go after a playmaker WR after getting Alge.

Posted by: telling it like it is | Feb 15, 2008 9:27:35 PM

Wow! Now thats bad grammer.

Posted by: stating the obvious | Feb 15, 2008 10:09:13 PM

If you're going to comment on someone's grammar you should at least spell the word "grammar" right.

Posted by: Daniel | Feb 15, 2008 10:14:56 PM

He should work out nicely at left guard. I agree with JPanther on someone like Clady from Boise, if not him someone who has the ability to fill the left tackle slot. It seems our left side is always the weak side which..is strange considering with our QB being right handed...his back side shoul be the most protected of all. If we could build the left side up we should be fine..unless more problems surprise us..which..might as well expect them because..well..we are the Panthers.

Posted by: Dustin | Feb 15, 2008 10:53:07 PM

I think Wharton is a hell of a player! And he did a good job for a quarterback that seemed scared and unsure of himself (David Carr). Im sure its hard to block a defensive end in the NFL for as long as he did and give up only nine sacks. It coulda and should've been a lot more. GO PANTHERS

Posted by: Tony | Feb 15, 2008 11:11:52 PM

The Wharton signing was a good deal. You're keeping a guy with good chemistry and the relative trust of his teammates at a cost less than what you would have to pay to bring in a OL of equal value in the FA market. The amount of his contract sounds like alot but it is less than what a 'pro-bowl' OL is getting; which is fair b/c he isn't a probowler.

I do think if we could get Crumpler at or near the veteran min. he would be a good mentor to our young TEs.

Maybe the fans should show K-Jenk a little support he was the first D player (possibly Panther) to step up and take a leadership role. He is better than anyone we can bring in and he keeps the middle of the field clear of OLmen so that Beason and Davis and roam free.

No way we draft a WR in the first day (much less the first round) after the debacles of Colbert and -seemingly- Jarrett. I would expect Hurney to take the best player on the board with an emphasis on Safety, OL, LB... depending on FA.

Jerry Porter will never be a Panther. After Carruth and Lane the Richardsons have been on a character kick and Porter has a bad attitude...

Posted by: Ryan A | Feb 15, 2008 11:35:22 PM

Sign Alge Crumpler now, it imediately strengthens and smartens up our O-line and scheme of things. Alge maybe be that other reciever to Smitty to where we may not need to get one in draft or free agency. Just then see how D. Jarrett and Drew Carter plays out...Woo keying on Smith or Crumpler would be a thing to try and stop with Carte and Jarrett over the top. Im telling you I know Foxy has to be thinking on that. Physical today sign tomorrow. Welcome aboard and in the same division to hurt the falcons for releaseing him and back home with fellow teammate Peppers which would bring the young back out of Peps Like they did when the Defense was 3rd in the nation in college at UNC and a top offense with Alge. Alge is a redzone monster. You see how he has killed us. Get him on our team.
Iiwii,

Posted by: It is what it is | Feb 16, 2008 12:01:10 AM

WHAT'S GOING ON WITH CRUMPLER,COMING TO THE PANTHERS?

Posted by: FLOYD | Feb 16, 2008 9:44:42 AM

EXCELLENT POSTS, PEOPLE. I LIKE OUR TIGHT ENDS AND ALGAE IS GOING TO COST TOO MUCH. I HOPE HE GOES TO THE AFC.I LIKE GROSS,KALIL,WHARTON AT A GUARD. HANGARTNER STINKS AND BRIDGES GOT BENCHED LAST YEAR. I DONT LIKE HARTWIG AND HES SAID HE DOESNT LIKE TO PLAY GUARD.BAD ATTITUDE.CUT HIM OR TRADE HIM.ID LIKE TO SEE US GET 2 MEDIUM LEVEL LINEMAN FOR THE LEFT SIDE. THEN WE COULD GET A #2 RECEIVER AND A POWER BACK. I LIKE THE DEFENSE EXCEPT KEMO AND TRGO. I THINK WE SHOULD THROW THE F.A MONEY AT OFFENSE AND DRAFT DEFENSE. THERES A LOT OF DEF LINEMEN THIS YEAR.

Posted by: raymond | Feb 16, 2008 10:54:03 AM

The Wharton deal was yet again a terrible personal move by the panthers. They gave a AVG! at best player (weather he's at G or Tackle) the fact remains he can't run block because he's soft and weak! (don't be fooled by size) They gave this guy pro bowl money!! and he never has nor will he EVER! smell a pro bowl at any position. Why not give that guy to MAX STARKS!! He's 25 years old (2 years younger than wharton) and way better! sure he would cost 1 million more! but it's worth it! This is a terrible move! and people wonder why the panthers have a avg team! because that's what they pay for! they won't pay for anything better so they get what they pay for and in this case they are paying for a pro bowler and yet not getting that level of play in return! what waste! even flozel adams would be better! I mean sure he's older but Age only matters at the Skill positions (where speed counts) Even though he is older he can give you 3 more pro bowl seasons...where wharton will give us 6 avg seasons...(but paid like a pro bowler! this is such a stupid! move I shouldn't expect less from Fox and hurney!

Posted by: Cheven | Feb 16, 2008 11:49:38 AM

I hope you guys realize that Hartwig is not selfish enough to play guard. He wants to be the center, but HE SUCKS, we need to cut him now.

Posted by: JEFF | Feb 16, 2008 11:53:55 AM

I can think of two reasons not to sign Crumpler. See: King, Jeff, and Rosario, Dante. Why would you turn a promising young player into a non-entity (#3 TE) for an older guy who's dealt with injury issues and is not getting any better? Crumpler showed how much his numbers were artificially inflated when he had to play with a QB capable of completing passes further than 10 yards down the field when his buddy Federal Prison Inmate 33765-183 took a mandatory vacation. Beyond that, there's no WAY he'll sign for the minimum. He's not great, but he's a starting-quality TE.

Cheven, I'd love for you to cite where a pro bowl tackle has gotten numbers at or below Wharton's deal in the last two years. Further, I don't see how you can whine about the payroll. They pay just as much as anybody else in the league and are right up against the cap every season. What more can you do?

Posted by: Michael Procton | Feb 16, 2008 4:39:09 PM

Yea Cheven, we should bring in a guy who is 33, going to cost us more than whorton, and doesnt fit our zone blocking. You really could do better than Fox and Hurney.

Posted by: Billy | Feb 16, 2008 5:24:39 PM

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