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March 04, 2013

Munnerlyn cruising into free agency

If this was Captain Munnerlyn's last trip with the Panthers, it was a good one.

Munnerlyn, the free agent cornerback, just returned from a week at sea on the Panthers' annual fan cruise.

Munnerlyn joined Defensive Rookie of the Year Luke Kuechly, offensive linemen Geoff Hangartner and Jeff Byers and tight ends Richie Brockel and Gary Barnidge on the seven-night cruise, which included stops in Grand Turks, Jamaica and the Bahamas.

Munnerlyn said it was a relaxing week – despite the fact that his future with the team remains in doubt.

“It was a great experience. Hopefully, I can go back next year,” Munnerlyn said, laughing.

With the Panthers expected to cut Chris Gamble to get under the salary cap, Munnerlyn would seem like a priority for new general manager Dave Gettleman. Releasing Gamble would leave the Panthers with three cornerbacks, all with two years of experience or fewer – Josh Thomas, James Dockery and Josh Norman.

Munnerlyn, 24, has started 34 games in four years in Charlotte, including 25 the past two seasons.

Munnerlyn, a seventh-round pick from South Carolina in 2009, tied a team record in 2012 by returning two interceptions for touchdowns.

The 5-8, 190-pound Munnerlyn seemed to find a home at nickel corner, where he lined up against the slot receiver and faced fewer size mismatches than he did on the outside.

Munnerlyn said his agent has spoken with the Panthers. Munnerlyn said he'd like to remain with Carolina, but isn't sure whether he'll be eligible for the team cruise next year.

“I really don't know. My agent met with them at the combine,” Munnerlyn said. “Right now we're still over the cap. I don't know what's going to happen.”

--Joseph Person

Posted by Observer Sports on March 4, 2013 at 02:31 PM | Permalink

Comments

Makes you wonder what Hurney's plan was to get under the cap this year after giving out all those contracts...

Posted by: Swizzle52 | Mar 4, 2013 3:49:39 PM

@ Swizzle - good question. It doesnt seem Hurney had a long term plan - many of his moves were panic moves.

Posted by: manu4t | Mar 4, 2013 3:56:17 PM

Munnerlyn is a good special teams player and fair corner. He is the best tackler of any of the teams secondary players. Not a starter by any means. However, indicates how desperate the Panthers are in the secondary.

Posted by: par404 | Mar 4, 2013 4:03:07 PM

Keep Captain Munnerlyn, if possible, I say. .... he's a solid player, despite his size.

Posted by: bulldoze08 | Mar 4, 2013 8:22:18 PM

yea keep the captin hes a gamecock everyone knows how hard it is to play in the sec week in an week out he didnt get drafted cause his size its his big play an his big heart i say keep

Posted by: koran brown | Mar 5, 2013 12:03:50 AM

Who is Ricky Brockel? Damn boy if be pissed if I went on a panther Dan cruise and it was some practice squad guys. If I went I'd want to have Cam, Smitty, Beason, Otah, Gamble, and Jstew. Don't matter though cause I can't swim anyway.

Posted by: Len Jackson | Mar 8, 2013 11:11:13 PM

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