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January 13, 2014

Panthers have 21 players eligible for free agency

A day after falling to San Francisco in the playoffs, Panthers' players were back at Bank of America Stadium on Monday cleaning out their lockers -- some of them for the final time.

Every offseason brings change for any organization, but there could be a lot of roster turnover for the Panthers this year.

The Panthers have 21 players set to become unrestricted free agents, including eight starters. For comparison, the Panthers had 11 unrestricted free agents last year.

Defensive end Greg Hardy heads the list and figures to be an offseason priority for the Panthers, who also will try to get quarterback Cam Newton locked up with a long-term deal. Newton is not a free agent, but this is the first year teams can negotiate extensions with the first-round picks from the 2011 draft.

There could be a completely different secondary for the Panthers, with four of their top five defensive backs headed for free agency.

Cornerback Captain Munnerlyn and free safety Mike Mitchell have both said they'd like to be back in Carolina. The likelihood of corner Drayton Florence and safety Quintin Mikell, both 33, returning seems doubtful.

A look at the Panthers' players who are eligible to become free agents in March:


WR Domenik Hixon

WR Brandon LaFell

WR Ted Ginn Jr.

QB Derek Anderson

QB Jimmy Clausen *

TE Ben Hartsock

OL Jordan Gross (contract automatically voids if on roster Feb. 7)

OL Geoff Hangartner

OL Travelle Wharton

OL Garry Williams *

OL Bruce Campbell *

DE Greg Hardy

DT Colin Cole

LB Jordan Senn

LB Jason Williams

LB Dan Connor

S Quintin Mikell

S Mike Mitchell                                             

CB Captain Munnerlyn

CB Drayton Florence

K Graham Gano

Restricted (3)

TE Richie Brockel

CB James Dockery *

OL Byron Bell

*-denotes player who ended season on injured reserve

--Joseph Person

Posted by Observer Sports on January 13, 2014 at 12:05 PM | Permalink



Posted by: Preston | Jan 13, 2014 12:22:09 PM

I see greg Hardy getting hit with the tag, mike Mitchell won't be very expensive, cap comes back, brandon or Ted will come back we won't keep both and see that cam love brandon he'll be back.

Posted by: Gee | Jan 13, 2014 12:42:46 PM

Keep Capt to cover the slot, Mitchell to play alongside Godfrey if he's fully recovered and willing to restructure but if not pair him up with Lester then. If we do that then just draft a guy who can play man to man and then roll coverage to White's side.
We gotta keep Gano and kickers are cheap btw. We'll keep Hardy bc we can tag him if we cant work out a long term deal and if Cole comes back for cheap again keep him too.
Gross will only come back to play for us and itll determine if we need 1 or 2 OTs bc no way in hell im bringing Bell back even as a backup. We have guards in Silatolu and Edmund coming back from injury, so we are set there just need to add depth.
Wide outs is priority #1 Ginn Jr is the only guy id consider bringing back given he isn't asking too much but I want him to be our #4 WR meaning we need atleast 2 WRs in this draft bc im done with Lafell. Id love Matthews, Benjamin or Cooks in round 1 then Montecrief or Bryant in the later rounds. We need another pass catching TE to pair with Olsen to run those 2 TE sets that Cam had great success in his rookie yr with when Shockey was there.
Gettleman did a helluva job last offseason and the draft with the DLine and secondary, now its time to add more to the secondary long term while addressing the Oline and WRs.

Posted by: Jonathan M. Stephens | Jan 13, 2014 12:43:49 PM

Jordan Gross will be back for another two years just playing the right tackle position now

Posted by: Gee | Jan 13, 2014 12:43:55 PM

I say we takes this oppertunity to clean house on the offense line. Gross has at least some trade value. And what we really need is more wide receivers to let Cam shine. I think a package deal of Gross and Kalil with one top player to Dallas for Dez Bryant would be a really good thing for us. The third play would have to be someone good. I'm thinking either Kukely or Hardy.

Dez Bryant would give us just what we need to line up with Smitty as the #2 receiver.

Posted by: Lenny Jackson | Jan 13, 2014 1:30:03 PM

Lenny: haha... not a very good try.

Posted by: Panther Phil | Jan 13, 2014 1:41:56 PM

Lenny, this isn't Madden

Posted by: Joe John Johnson | Jan 13, 2014 1:46:52 PM

Our cap number right now is just under $20 million. We will most likely release Jonathan stewart, Chase Blackburn, Charles Godfrey, and Dwan Edwards and the reason i say Godfrey is because he is counting $9 mill against the cap and he is not worth the contract we paid him plus Robert Lester did good filling in!! Plus with restructuring of Charles Johnson, Steve smith, and Greg Olsen, we could franchise Greg Hardy, re-sign Gross, Mitchell, and Ted Ginn, he was the best receiver, LAFELL SUCKS, and they not bringing him back!! I also heard that the BEARS ARE RELEASING PEPPERS, SO HE MIGHT BE BACK TO FINISH CAREER WITH US on a 1 year deal and draft some GREAT PLAYERS, we will be back in the playoffs next year!!!!!

Posted by: William Brown | Jan 13, 2014 1:47:23 PM

Lenny Jackson, you better lay off that dope, son.

Posted by: Dom | Jan 13, 2014 1:51:11 PM

Gee are u crazy gross will retire if he doesn't play with panthers and we don't want no cry baby dez Bryant here

Posted by: Jon | Jan 13, 2014 1:54:40 PM

let Greg "my only motivation to play is money" Hardy walk.

all he's done the past 3 months is run his mouth about how much money he thinks he's worth and how he just wants to get paid.

I would like to ask Hardy how much he thinks his value went down after that complete no-show in the playoff game. Do they not get paid for a playoff game? If not that would explain why Hardy was completely worthless yesterday.

Let's spend the money that would go to him on someone that cares about winning as well as money.

Posted by: Charles | Jan 13, 2014 1:55:57 PM

I would draft a left tackle in the first round and move Gross to right tackle. Move Bell to right guard. Hopefully we can keep some of our young guards healthy next year on the left. Resign Hangartner and Wharton as backups to finish their careers as Panthers. Draft a guard in the second round too - or even another tackle. Draft WRs and Dbs the rest of the rounds...

Posted by: Dom | Jan 13, 2014 2:00:04 PM

Are you kidding? I'd pick up des in a heartbeat. We need a number 1 receiver like him. We also need a good safety some younger offensive line players ( Richie incognito, screw the headlines about the guy he is good.). People you can't get too wrapped up in all these stories the media plays into. The nfl is about winning! Also j stew is gone and we need to draft or pick up a younger ruining back I'm not sure about barner.

Posted by: Carolina dyrty | Jan 13, 2014 2:03:20 PM

And sorry hardy is a beast, we need to tag him and work out a long term after next season. The niners knew he was a serious threat and game planned for him. They have a awesome o line. He was also shut out in the first game they played. Well get revenge next year.....

Posted by: Carolina dyrty | Jan 13, 2014 2:04:49 PM

I was at the game yesterday and watched Hardy a lot. The 49ers didn't seem to be doing anything special to stop him. Lots of times he was 1 on 1, and if his first move didn't work he gave up.

Who does that sound like? Julius Peppers, and people wanted him run out of town for that.

I'd like to see what Hardy's stats were when Charles Johnson was out. anyone know? CJ is a big reason Hardy got the stats he did.

Posted by: Charles | Jan 13, 2014 2:12:43 PM


oh wait, he sucks...

Posted by: Brandon | Jan 13, 2014 2:13:21 PM

Hardy got stoned yesterday and then snuck out back of locker room..When he was beating up on undrafted free agents he was screaming to all that would listen "price going up" when he got stoned all afternoon yesterday, he snuck out back door w/out talking..He is type that will shut it down once his bank account is full..Please don't franchise tag him

Posted by: Joe Staley | Jan 13, 2014 2:15:11 PM

I actually do hope the Panthers address the backup QB role in the draft. Anderson isn't getting any younger and Clausen....well...

Draft Gamecock QB Connor Shaw in the late rounds. Tough guy, accurate passer, not a fast scrambling threat but one none-the-less, and a hell of a team player.

Posted by: Brandon | Jan 13, 2014 2:16:40 PM

Immediate needs: Running backs
Wide Receivers
Corner x2
Safety x2

Posted by: Charles | Jan 13, 2014 2:35:10 PM

Get some DBs with size and strength. The current crop is a bunch of undersized little punks who let trash talking rule their game. Fast, big, and strong DBs dont need to trash talk.

Posted by: Popcorn | Jan 13, 2014 2:57:26 PM

Trade Cam ..... he’s a loser !

Posted by: Brian | Jan 13, 2014 3:16:02 PM

Wow..no one mentioned a QB...sorry no Cam fan here. He may shine sometimes but we need a consistent thrower, mover, thinker. He has had 3 yrs to grow. Look at the stand out QB's in the league before any negative comments on this. Other than that...replace all secondary except Cap't M. Go Panthers!!

Posted by: mike | Jan 13, 2014 3:21:24 PM

Guys Hardy will work a deal, Cam will to. Mike Mitchell and the rest will sign because Gettleman gave them a chance to play and they found out how great this team is. Meaning this organization. We are a family in the Carolina's.
As far as changing in personal we will draft well. As stated above I doubt Lafell, Hixon, Florence, Mikell, Anderson, Brockel will be back.
The O-line guys will stay if offered a reasonable deal. There are 16 O-lineman on the Panthers roster. Out of 16 we should have a great O-line next year.
Cole will resign to a 1 year deal to. So I feel pretty good about going into the draft. To be honest O-line isn't the top priority. WR's and CB/FS/SS are.
1 thing though and people will hate this I'm trading Jonathan Stewart 23 million against cap.
You will see why.
So a quick mock goes like this
1. WR Kelvin Benjamin
2. WR Brandon Coleman
3. CB Stanley Jean-Baptiste
4. WR Josh Huff
5. RB Isiah Crowell
6. QB Logan Thomas
7. CB Dontae Johnson
FA WR Eric Decker via Broncos
FA WR Riley Cooper via Eagles

Posted by: Duane Fannon | Jan 13, 2014 3:26:26 PM

Posted by Brian @ 3:16:02pm
"Trade Cam....he's a loser!"
Translation: "I have recently been to Colorado, and have gotten ahold to some bad "kush".
Please ignore the crazy non-sense that comes out of my mouth"

We understand Brian, we understand.

Posted by: Johnas Euphraties | Jan 13, 2014 3:30:31 PM

LaFailure must go...along with J Stewart

Posted by: bt | Jan 13, 2014 3:34:17 PM

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