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April 30, 2008

Trade Travelle? Not likely

   Received this question from "mh" via e-mail with the request to post as a blog ...

   Q: "Since the Panthers seem to have depth at OL and LB, do you think they would make a trade offer to the Dolphins for Taylor if he was willing to rework his contract? The fins need help on the OL so how about a Travelle Wharton for Taylor trade?"

   Don't think the Panthers would be interested in trading for Taylor and don't think the Dolphins would take anything less than a first- or second-round pick. Carolina certainly wouldn't give that up. As far as trading Travelle Wharton, no way. He was recently signed to a big, new contract and the team is excited about moving him to left guard now that they've got Jeff Otah to pair with Jordan Gross at tackle.

   (EXTRA, EXTRA: By the way, we and some other media outlets referred to Otah as Jeffrey in pre-draft coverage. We'll be changing that to Jeff now. When asked Sunday at his news conference at Bank of America Stadium what he prefers to be called, he said basically everybody calls him Jeff except his mother. She calls him Jeffrey.)

-- Charles Chandler

Posted by Observer Sports on April 30, 2008 at 09:00 AM | Permalink


I would probably call him whatever he wants to be called...that's a biiiiigg boy.

Posted by: justsayin' | Apr 30, 2008 10:38:15 AM

I definitely think there will be some growing pains on this line early, not nearly as bad as some anticipate though. But God help the rest of the NFL when this line gets clicking, hopefully sometime mid-season at the latest. This line could become a force for some time to come. We pieced together a sizable, powerful line back in '03 for that Super Bowl run but it was full of wily, old veterans for the most part. I love the potential of this line and you can not tell me we would rather have Cherilus or Williams, who doesn't even fit the scheme and drew no interest from Fox/Hurney, playing LT over Gross right now, and eventually Otah in the future. I just don't buy the idea of taking a player who can start LT right now as rookie over a guy who has a much higher ceiling talent wise. Especially when we are starting a pro-bowl caliber T in the time being in Gross. I think when this is all said and done Otah and Long will be the two best tackles from this draft when we look back in a few years. DeAngelo could amass more yardage than Stewart and maybe even 1,000 yards, even if he has less carries, because defense are gonna be gassed when he starts getting major touches late in the game. This team is a near carbon-copy of 03 and I love it. It was about time we got the personnel to match the scheme rather than making a scheme to fit the personnel, cough cough--zone blocking.

Posted by: mountaineerdynAsty | Apr 30, 2008 11:10:17 AM

If they should trade anyone, it's Gross. Sure, Gross is slightly better than Wharton but he still isn't worth the huge contract that he wants. Essentially, he wants to be paid double what Wharton makes.

Posted by: Jerad | Apr 30, 2008 11:55:18 AM

I'm liking all the moves so far. I don't like Gross at LT and see trouble on the horizon. If gross does struggle and Otah moves to LT I hope Gross either signs a very reasonable contract or we do a sign and trade deal or something similar we did with Jenkins. I still think Peppers is worth the risk - not Goss. jmo.

Posted by: PaPa Chubby | Apr 30, 2008 12:04:26 PM

Geez...I think that's a great idea! We should definitely trade the only legit left tackle we have. The problem with Gross as a "Pro Bowl-caliber OT" is that he's just not when he's on the left side. Ryan Clady will be starting there THIS season. When we couldn't get him, we should have traded down, because no other tackle in this year's draft was going to improve our O-line.

Posted by: Michael Procton | Apr 30, 2008 12:06:07 PM

I think we call all be sure that the Panther's embarassing play by play guy will call him Jeffrey all season...

Posted by: Ashe | Apr 30, 2008 12:06:23 PM

I think we can.... not call.

Posted by: Ashe | Apr 30, 2008 12:07:57 PM

Gross is our best offensive lineman, but he is not a probowler whether he is on the right or the left. I think Otah could also be some insurance incase we decide not to sign Gross to a ridiculous contract for a RT. I personally say see how Gross does on the left this year and if he doesn't do well, let him go and lets go after a LT in free agency.

Posted by: Mason | Apr 30, 2008 12:12:05 PM

You are kidding yourself if you think a rookie LT, such as Clady would outperform Gross, even if that's not Gross' natural side. He is solid there and only plays RT because he has the propensity to be beat occasionally due to the more athletic ends on that side. A rookie versus a seasoned veteran? You all are crazy and that's why you aren't the GM. As aggressive as they were for Otah don't you think if they really felt Clady was as impressive as you all claim then they would have made a move for him? Use some common sense, they don't miss on first round picks. They know how to evaluate talent and need, it's what they get paid to do. They wouldn't have made it this far otherwise.

Posted by: mountaineerdynAsty | Apr 30, 2008 12:33:42 PM

Am I wrong in thinking that not having a first round pick next season could help us in resigning Peppers & Gross? As long as we structure Stewart's and Otah's contracts with Pep and Jordan in mind, I don't see why we can't have both contracts extended before the end of next season. I could be wrong, but I would think that there would be more pressure (and trouble) to sign a first rounder next season, in addition to having to renegotiate contracts with Pep and Gross. Anyone have any thoughts on that?

Posted by: TheMike | Apr 30, 2008 12:36:58 PM

On Gross: If the Panthers trade Gross I hope it would be for a #1 pick next year to replace the bonehead move to get Otah who is another RT which we already have. I guess Hurney figured that Otah/RT is worth a #2/4 and next year's #1 to not re-sign Gross for a big contract.I just wonder how Hurney thinks he can get a starting LT next year with-out that #1 pick...Yes we give up to much for Otah pretty obivious ,not that Clady is an automatic starter at LT either ,but of the 2 Clady is better.Taking Chris Williams would have came much cheaper pick wise.

Posted by: rob | Apr 30, 2008 12:42:22 PM

It just depends on what you want. Chris Williams is a finese player, good against the pass, not much of a run blocker. Clady is very good against the pass as well and an okay run blocker. Clady will start at the right side this year as well. So drafting Clady would have meant the move of Gross to LT as well and personally I like Otah on the right side better than Clady on the right side. Fox/Hurney believe Otah is the best run blocker and a flat out beast w/ lots of potential. In my opinion, down the road, Otah is a better RT than Gross. If Gross doesn't perform to a high level on the left side, we should pass on giving him top 5 dollars next year.

Posted by: Mason | Apr 30, 2008 12:54:28 PM

The panthers wont trade Gross, and it certainly wont be for a first round pick. He's coming up to the end of his contract, so why trade for him when you can more than likely get him on the free agent market. Not to mention it wouldnt make much sense to trade him seeing as how we're betting it all to win this year. It's a bit late to plan for the future. And as good as Gross is, he's not worth a first round pick. Not even guys like Jeremy Shockey, or Jason Taylor could get first rounders.

Posted by: Christian | Apr 30, 2008 1:21:24 PM

TheMike: That does make some sense. Without the first round pick, we won't have a player to sign to first round money. That will make us a little more aggressive on the FA market and with renegotiating contracts. However, it's still going to be a task to sign both Gross and Peppers, especially if they both put up huge numbers. My guess is that we re-sign or franchise Peppers for next year and release Gross. As good as Gross is, he will be deserving some big time money and a long term deal. After the drafting of Otah, and the fact that Gross is less productive on the left side, we will have the flexibility to lose Gross and spend that money elsewhere. We will then either move Wharton to LT again, or find someone on the FA market.

Posted by: Christian | Apr 30, 2008 1:28:20 PM

mountie, I frankly do believe that Clady will immediately be a better LT (where he WILL start in Denver, Mason...that is, if you take Mike Shanahan's word for it) than Gross, but regardless, Gross is a top 5 RT. At LT, he's average. Isn't the point to get the best possible production from the players on your roster? Even IF Otah is better than Gross at RT, who plays LT? If it's Wharton, he'll be changing positions AGAIN in '09, and we'll continue to lack the continuity that characterizes all great lines. Either way, we lack a prototype LT to protect the blindside of a QB who--while great when healthy--is aging, has a propensity to hold on to the ball and fumble after big hits, and has a rather significant injury history in the last couple years.

As for the financial situation, we're actually worse off in not having a first round pick next year. We'll have two first-rounders in the second year of their contract (salaries progressively increase) as opposed to just one.

Posted by: Michael Procton | Apr 30, 2008 1:57:17 PM

what if we lose Gross after the season, if thats the case it does make some sense to draft Otah

Posted by: m | Apr 30, 2008 2:09:21 PM

Procton, no one knows including yourself what Otah can do. Let's wait and see what happens. Hell Clady could be a bust no one knows.Have you not said you cannot evaluate a draft until the 3rd year. OOP'S you are never wrong. OOP's lets not forget about you being wrong on the 3rd QB

Posted by: Jay | Apr 30, 2008 2:41:32 PM

I think Clady is a bust for some reason I have that feeling.

Posted by: paul | Apr 30, 2008 2:56:39 PM

The panthers made all the right moves.otah was the very last stud tackle left in the draft.the panthers had to get a tackle,no ifs,ands or buts.he may be the best.
gross will play well at left tackle.if he doesnt ,the panthers will let him go and get a stud with the 8 million theyll save.
even if peppers bounces back i would let him go.hes not motivated,hes no spring chicken and the panthers could buy a lot of talent with the millions they would save.
if the team does well it will be a late 1st round pick.

Posted by: ray | Apr 30, 2008 3:03:47 PM

I think the consensus is that Otah was the best run blocking Tackle, even better than Clady, and if thats the case, we made the right move considering how Furney want to be a run based team.

Posted by: m | Apr 30, 2008 3:18:48 PM

As for the financial situation.....It does seem that many contracts escelate each year, but its not always the case, until you see the numbers, how do you know the contracts of Otah and Stewart will escalate, and how much the jump will be from year one to year two?

Posted by: m | Apr 30, 2008 3:20:38 PM

It would be better to get something for Gross say a starter on either side of the ball than let him walk for nothing next year we have him signed this year and could trade him since we have Otah or sign and trade him next year for a player w/a similar salary or pick(s)there are players like Chad Johnson/Lito Sheppard/Jason Taylor or even Chris Sims that could Start/contribute to the team now. Hey if were gonna let him walk get something for him instead of nothing.

Posted by: rob | Apr 30, 2008 3:51:08 PM

Otah will be better than Clady,but you wont find that out until the season starts,Proctologist.

I think they should go ahead and let Otah start at LT,and leave Gross at Rt.If Otah is the future Lt and is going to man that position,get him started on the right track and no more of this bouncing around stuff with the Tackles.

Posted by: Ghost of Sparta | Apr 30, 2008 4:21:18 PM

The panthers would definitely want to get Taylor if they could get him. They took Reggie White and Sean Gilbert and Taylor is way better than them at the point in their careers when the panthers took them. That would be awesome do get rid of some average O-linemen to get a great player like Taylor. He'd light a fire under 99 for sure.

Posted by: Joe | Apr 30, 2008 4:25:44 PM


Everything I have read says that Clady WILL eventually be a pretty solid LT but is a RT right now in the league. No way should he start at LT and if he does he WILL struggle. This year he WILL not be better at LT than Gross nor would he be a better RT than Otah. However, I am banker, not a psychic, maybe somehow you know that Clady WILL be better than Gross this season. I mean Clady has tons of experience playing smalltime talent in the WAC to prepare him for the NFL.

Simply put, Clady fits in really well long-term for Denver, Otah fits well w/ the Panthers, unless Fox is gone at the end of the season. But that won't happen since he is the greatest coach of all-time in your mind, only top 5 in mine.

In case you didn't notice, I can capitalize WILL as well.

Posted by: Mason | Apr 30, 2008 4:27:14 PM

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