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April 28, 2008

Some early free agent signees emerge

    The Panthers are already signing free agents to fill out their training camp roster, among them tight end Chris Conklin from nearby Wingate.

    Conklin earned first team All-South Atlantic Conference honors in 2007, for the second year in a row. He led South Atlantic Conference tight ends with 30 catches for 446 yards and 10 touchdowns. His TDs were the most of any SAC receiver (WR, TE, RB) this year.

    The others that we've heard about so far include a quarterback, Taylor Tharp of Boise State, along with wide receiver Damon Morton of Colorado State and Cortney Grixby, a cornerback from Nebraska.

    Tharp became the Boise State starter as a senior, leading the team to its surprising 10-3 season. He completed 289 of 423 passes (68.3 percent), with 30 scores and just 11 intercepts. He's 6-2 and 210 
pounds, and runs a 4.9 40. He gives Carolina, which already has three quarterbacks on its roster, a needed extra body for off-season workouts and training camp.

    Morton, who is 5-10 and 176 pounds, also returns kicks, averaged 19.4 yards a catch as a senior. He had 40 catches, including six for TDs. For his career, he averaged 21 yards on kickoff returns and 8.9 on
punts, and returned a punt for a score in 2006. Snubbed by the NFL Scouting Combine as well as the Senior Bowl, he opened eyes with a  4.38 40 at his pro day.

    Grixby (5-9, 170) was a three-time honorable mention All-Big 12 selection. A starter at corner for three seasons, he was also a  successful return man, averaging 24.3 on kickoffs in 2007. He had 147  career tackles, and 32 pass breakups.

    Carolina will announce more signees later today.


Posted by Observer Sports on April 28, 2008 at 11:19 AM | Permalink


Hey Stan,

Add Syracuse safety to the undrafted free agent signings.


Posted by: FYI | Apr 28, 2008 11:43:28 AM

Whoopee, another TE. I'd love to see Giffin of Texas or Silva of BC as F.A. safeties.

Posted by: jbw | Apr 28, 2008 11:54:06 AM

Griffin is gone. I can't see anybody on this list making the 53-man roster barring plenty of injuries. We did fill a big hole at DT, as Darin Gantt is reporting we signed Darwin Walker to a one-year deal.

Posted by: Michael Procton | Apr 28, 2008 12:04:45 PM

might wanna add Darren Walker to that list, panthers just signed him to a 1 year deal

Posted by: chknwing | Apr 28, 2008 12:05:56 PM

Darwin, sorry :)

Posted by: chknwing | Apr 28, 2008 12:14:53 PM

Thanks for the updates everyone! Please keep them coming.

Posted by: Will Parker | Apr 28, 2008 12:24:54 PM

Guys have a link to the darwin walker deal?

Posted by: Kevin | Apr 28, 2008 12:25:42 PM


Posted by: chknwing | Apr 28, 2008 12:26:40 PM

Grady Jackson + Rod Coleman DT!!!!

Posted by: paul | Apr 28, 2008 12:30:58 PM

It's about WALKER decides to go with us if he and the others work hard on defence we can get in the playoffs!!!!!!

Posted by: paul | Apr 28, 2008 12:36:43 PM

I like the Walker sign, and I knew that Marcus Griffean was going to the viking to play with his brother, but what about Texas DT he would have been a first round pick if he play the same way every down no one got him yet I believe.

Posted by: telling it like it is | Apr 28, 2008 12:52:09 PM

Getting burned by the Rock Hill Herald again, and you guys have two on the beat!

Posted by: Scoop | Apr 28, 2008 12:56:43 PM

Walker signing definitely good. If anything, this adds depth to our D-line. I, for one, am really excited about this draft class. Fox and Hurney know their jobs are on the line, and they put forth a huge effort. If this class pans out, the Panthers will be VERY good this season. Go Cats!

Posted by: JPanther | Apr 28, 2008 1:04:16 PM

this is great. i didnt even realize walker was available. we should be pretty set.
i would like to see them try to get these stud linebackers on the field more.connor was an absolute steal and dont forget shaw runs a 4.4 forty.
pep and brayton and johnson are good aganst the run. rotate them in with walker and kemo and keep changing from 3-4 to 4-3 thru the game so they cant focus on peppers.
this defense should be sick. and if stewart, otah and jake do anything we should go deep into the playoffs.
casserley said we had the best draft. congrats to hurney and don gregory. i keep telling you gregory is the real deal.

Posted by: ray | Apr 28, 2008 1:25:08 PM

FYI, thanks for the update. Panthers did sign Joe Fields, a safety for Syracuse, obviously another condition of need...As to the Walker signing, would you guys prefer it 15 minutes earlier with considerably less information?

Posted by: stan olson | Apr 28, 2008 1:28:08 PM

This is the internet. Get it up there now and update it when you have more information. Geez. Join the 21st century, please.

Posted by: Authority on Everything | Apr 28, 2008 1:33:29 PM

Wow! Authority. Wish I had your arrogance...

Posted by: stan olson | Apr 28, 2008 1:38:20 PM

who released the story first matters not. Carolina, maybe for the first time in their history, will be going into this season without any big holes on the team. No big ?'s. Every position is solid. The only major task the team has now, is to get these picks signed and into camp.

Posted by: chknwing | Apr 28, 2008 1:47:06 PM

hmm Fernando Velasco - C - Georgia Another center?

Posted by: chknwing | Apr 28, 2008 1:55:34 PM

virtually none of these signings will make the team. Carolina already has 25+ people on the roster that will need to be cut to get down to the 53 man roster. Almost positive that a few of those will be Seward, Mathis, and Jason Kyle. if were me, package some of these guys and send them to Miami for picks in next years draft.

Posted by: chknwing | Apr 28, 2008 2:36:17 PM

Is Devon Bess still available? I thought he was gonna get drafted in a mid rnd.

Posted by: Patrick | Apr 28, 2008 2:54:51 PM

Guy's please get a life!!!!

Posted by: Mel Kiper | Apr 28, 2008 3:00:29 PM

hopefully we can shop some of these extra linebackers like jamison ,diggs ,or even davis,in order to get some draft picks. by the way, have you noticed how kiper squints and shakes all the time. does he have m.s?

Posted by: ray | Apr 28, 2008 3:31:58 PM

I agree, Ray...we've got a lot of 53-man-roster quality that is going to get cut, so I hope we can work out deals, but it doesn't happen that often in the NFL (as opposed, to, say, the MLB where there are tons of 25th-man trades at the end of spring training...salary cap's to blame for that.)

Posted by: Michael Procton | Apr 28, 2008 4:11:29 PM

Stan, you've obviously never had a boss that read anything you wrote.

If one puts sports opinions aside, your actual grasp of grammar and language are sub-par for a professional writer (and Chandler's is worse), your proofreading is non-existent, and you have no grasp whatsoever of the benefits of internet media over print-based media. Put that together with the fact that you only write an article once or twice a week, and I can't find a reason why you and your whole department couldn't be replaced with a college intern.

You display more arrogance than I can pretend to have every time you deposit your paycheck. Go out into the real world and try to get a real job where you work 50-60 hours a week.

Posted by: Authority on Everything | Apr 28, 2008 5:09:15 PM

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