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March 13, 2014

Cardinals sign WR/KR Ted Ginn Jr. to 3-year deal

Cross another wide receiver off the list for the Panthers.

In the same day that the Panthers released Steve Smith and free agent Domenik Hixon signed with the Bears, last year's No. 3 receiver and top returner Ted Ginn Jr. signed a three-year deal with the Arizona Cardinals.

The team announced the move Thursday evening. The deal is reportedly worth $3.25 million per year.

Ginn had drawn interest from the Bucs and Giants before deciding on the Cardinals. Ginn was considered a top priority for the Panthers in free agency along with now-Steelers safety Mike Mitchell.

Ginn caught 36 passes for 556 yards and five touchdowns last season. He played on a one-year, $1.1 million contract following three abysmal seasons in San Francisco. 

While the Panthers continue to look for receiving help in free agency, they have running back Kenjon Barner and receiver Kealoha Pilares as their top two returners on the roster.

--Jonathan Jones

Posted by Observer Sports on March 13, 2014 at 05:40 PM | Permalink


I usually try to stay positive about moves that the Panthers make. That being said this has been the worst offseason in recent memory. We make it to the playoffs for the first time in 5 years and now we're seeing a mass exodus. The roster has more holes than swiss cheese and Gettlemen is too afraid to open the purse strings. I'm dying to find out who Newton is going to throw to next season....please tell me it won't be Hester.

Posted by: Panther Joe | Mar 13, 2014 5:55:19 PM

anyone awake over there at Bank of America Stadium?

Posted by: concerned fan | Mar 13, 2014 5:56:11 PM

So does this mean we only draft tackles and WR's this year? I wouldn't be as nervous if Smitty wasnt released.

Posted by: Kelly Tripuka | Mar 13, 2014 5:57:10 PM

If LaFell bolts to another team then something is up for sure. There is a reason, just beyond money, that they are jumping ship.

Posted by: dennis | Mar 13, 2014 6:06:17 PM

Ginn was so important to our field position. It wasn't very often that we had to drive the ball 80-90 yards to score. I can't believe this. Gettleman talked about sustained success. How? With Rookie WR's and offensive Lineman?

Posted by: Smitty | Mar 13, 2014 6:06:56 PM

Captain just got signed by Minnesota (yep, cue the puns).

Posted by: Brandon | Mar 13, 2014 6:17:47 PM

great idea....let's cut the franchise guy before we replace him. oh and let the deep threat return guy go while we're at it.

gettleman got all the credit in the world for bringing in ginn last year......so that was great. thanks dude.

breaking up a young 12-4 team. awesome. i'm sure hakeem nicks will get overpaid now as every WR's agent will smell the desperation in the panthers. I would be thrilled about nicks coming home, but not with smith gone.

you just don't cut potential hall of famers. you don't do that. especially not when you still have to pay them a ton of money regardless.

there is no winning formula that he's following here.

and you guys hated hurney?

Posted by: charlottean | Mar 13, 2014 6:18:03 PM

Gettleman/Panthers = Obama/Obamacare

When will you let the rest of us in on the idea, or is this the beginning of a new era?
I know that if it comes to me shelling out a few C notes to commute CHS - CLT, no thanx- I may consider driving down to JAX though- Gettleman- you SUCK farts out of dead possums

Posted by: m c lewis | Mar 13, 2014 6:37:29 PM

Wonder how much money u saving us now . Our #1 reciever cut #2 bolts for az ..Safety and Corner bolt cuz u don't want to negotiate a contract with them but you think 2 rookies that didnt make the cut are gonna help good going Gettleman love ur math . But hey you kept Hardy for 1 more year before u work a deal to send him to NY to i guess..

Posted by: Prowler | Mar 13, 2014 6:45:07 PM

Gettleman needs to be punched in the face. Richardson always talked about running a first class organization but the way this offseason is playing out, this is what I would call a low class organization. I hate you Gettleman and hope you get fired!!!!

You let all our talent go and the Panthers still dont have any money to sign anyone worth note. If I was Cam, I would come out and say, if Gettleman stays, I go. If Gettleman goes, I stay. All-Star Players dont want to play for a team that has other players on it that stinks. IE LeBron James. He couldn't do it all himself. Cam probably doens't want to waste all these years rebuilding either. Dumb Gettleman.

Posted by: WTH! | Mar 13, 2014 6:53:06 PM

let's not forget how valuable jordan senn has been over the years. there's a reason why he still has a job elsewhere. that's someone else we have to replace.

i'm sure lafell and munnerlyn and godfrey are next to go.

over/under on 4-12 next year? this is all bad timing leading up to contract negotiations with cam.

Posted by: charlottean | Mar 13, 2014 6:54:07 PM

Non of the FA losses are irreplaceable but how do you fill so many gaps when you count the retirees too. Lots of work to be done and we need a deep draft class.

Posted by: HoggMolly | Mar 13, 2014 7:01:47 PM

Thanks Marty for putting us in Salary Cap HELL

Posted by: steve | Mar 13, 2014 7:05:00 PM

Gettleman was great last year by signing players who were overlooked and reconstructing contracts....but now this dude is a joke. You cut a influential leader who on top of that was a great reciever, you lose Mitchell who was a great leader. You wait too long into free agency and watch our starters walk away with multimillion dollar contracts and we now have Two yes TWO receivers who are under contract (not to mention, what did they do last year?) and as of now Hakeem is not coming. So much for "bargaining". #FIREGETTLEMEN

Posted by: Jordan Steward | Mar 13, 2014 7:21:59 PM

I guess if we got a couple of hog-mollies, we could be a good running team again. As far as passing goes, Stewart and DeAngelo can catch short passes, and Olson can catch almost anything. So maybe we'll be alright..

Posted by: Chuck | Mar 13, 2014 7:43:03 PM

Wow. A lot of negative connotation to the moves. Remember that Ginn was fighting to remain relevant in the league before last season, and was playing as a 'value pick' for the Panthers. I don't know that his signing in AZ is all that great. The Cardinals filled a need, yes, but will Ginn continue to produce at the level to justify +3M/season? Maybe.

Smitty is at the point in time relative to age and 'miles' that make you at least have to consider how much is left. If he signs another deal, he'll probably want multiple years. To sign him in Carolina would cost significantly. It's a good story to keep him around. He is a fan favorite. He is a good player. But the business end of the scenario would have been tough. There is also the idea that you need to allow Cam to assume more leadership. He could not do that with Smith in the locker room. There's also the thought Smith and another #1 WR may not coalesce well. Most on here lauding Smith are at least familiar with his history. Great leader and uber-competive, but sometimes short tempered.
I'll draw this correlation for those who may feel that Smith should have stayed to finish his career here (which I think would have been great, by the way). Emmit Smith. He was as significant a player for Dallas for 13 years as any player they had. We was critical to the mentality and persona of the 90's success. He played his final two season as a member of the Arizona Cardinals. The first of those was shortened by injury and was his lowest yardage total of his career (Ok, the Cardinals were a bad team. So?) The final year he was healthy and managed his 2nd lowest average yards per attempt of his career (only the first year in AZ was worse. I got it...the Cards were a bad team...) The sad reality is that Father Time remains undefeated. As emotionally sour as it is, you just have to part with the greats sometimes.

The real question now is who fills the 3 or 4 WR roster spots for the Panthers? Certainly now a (much, much) more significant need than it was at the end of last season. I don't believe that Gettleman is going at this blind though. WIth what he was able to put together last season, I'm optimistic that he has plans to compensate. Now we have to see if the plans work out...

Posted by: sccards | Mar 13, 2014 8:06:58 PM

From 12-4 to 4-12? This seems like black Thursday

Posted by: jason | Mar 13, 2014 8:23:32 PM

All part of the Panthers plan to move the franchise to LA. Sorry to break the news.

Posted by: Ryan | Mar 13, 2014 8:31:55 PM

The receiving crops needed a complete overhaul. LaFell is wildly inconsistent, so he needed to go. Ginn exceeded expectations but only because his past failures as a WR set the bar so low. Ginn was brought in as a kick returner and anything he did as a receiver was a pleasant surprise. At the end of the day, Ginn was simply an occasional deep threat who was just as likely to drop the ball as catch it. You can always find a super fast guy who may or may not catch the ball. The loss of Ginn hurts the special teams more than the offense, so it's regrettable in that sense. Lastly, the big loss is Steve Smith. Certainly, I would have liked to see the team hold on to Smith but there has to be more to the story than we know. He is supposedly a changed man these days but we still see flashes of the massive temper that has gotten him into trouble in the past. How many times have we seen him on the sideline yelling at somebody (Cam Newton) when things aren't going well? Obviously, now that Smith's abilities have diminished the higher ups think that it's no longer worth overlooking his negative traits.

Posted by: Nathan | Mar 13, 2014 8:51:14 PM

Ryan, your an idiot....sorry to break the news!

Posted by: T | Mar 13, 2014 8:55:02 PM

anybody buying gettleman's "salary cap hell" campaign is drinking the koolaid. that dude is going to ride that excuse as long as he can.

the only reason we're in anything resembling cap hell is because he was impatient with jon beason, couldn't keep gross from retiring at age 33 (young for stout offensive linemen), gave hardy a 13 million dollar franchise tag when the market for DEs is an absolute buyers feast, and now we're paying 9 million over 2 years in dead money to steve smith the franchise receiver who will now be lining up for somebody else at a discount because his pockets are being supplemented by poppa dave's sweet a$$ strategy of paying elite guys to play elsewhere for MINIMAL savings. there's just no logic to what he's doing at all.

and NOBODY would care about losing mitchell or ginn or now MUNNERLYN too......if we weren't losing ALL of them and after we gave away smith. and before replacing them.

let's keep in mind he also cut gettis and edwards last year who we spent 3 years investing in developing them as receivers. what did we gain in that?

jordan senn gone, too.

most of these guys got overpaid, but the problem is that we're paying too many guys NOT to play for us, that we're going to have a hard time affording to pay new guys to come play for us. and when apples to apples are equal for competing free agents......they will remember how steve smith was treated.

it's hard to conceive how he can recover from this mass exodus.

7 draft picks and currently 10/25 starting positions to replace. plus a key special teamer.

again.....those talking "cap hell" do not understand the cap. gettleman is paying 9 million to steve smith over 2 years to go play elsewhere. this move HURTS the cap more than it helps it. beason is getting 8 million this year to play elsewhere. and he was a BEAST for new york last year. this dude is selling it and you guys are drinking it up.

he got handed a 12-4 team that HURNEY assembled and now he's going to break it up.

how is cam going to sign here long term if he can get the same money elsewhere (cleveland, tampa, jacksonville, anywhere else that needs a QB: see carson palmer's career earnings) when there aren't any receivers here?

there is NOTHING intelligent about cutting steve smith.

Posted by: charlottean | Mar 13, 2014 9:19:26 PM

I dont think Gettleman had any idea this was going to happen I think he has severly F! Himself. SMH. Wow. His intent was to save money but he had his chance and "HE BLEW IT"(copland).
Think the fellas trying to show Gettleman what they think of him. Look at team we had and where all these guys decided to go! Home or to teams needing help.
We are in serious trouble, the season everyone but a few thought we would have this past year is going to be this season 7-9, 8-8.

Posted by: 10-4!! | Mar 13, 2014 9:28:55 PM

Could not agree more Charlottean. Got to a point today where i just couldnt do anything but laugh. Soon to be Superbowl bound, to would be amazed we have a winning record.

Posted by: 10-4!! | Mar 13, 2014 9:38:45 PM

Don't know about everyone else, but we got a nice box of chocolate from the Panthers, in yesterday's mail, I guess for being a psl owner. After such an amazing gesture, last year's successful team being dismantled and slipping away seems inconsequential....

Posted by: Mark | Mar 13, 2014 9:56:34 PM

you remember when the cardinals thought anquan boldin was done? and then he won a superbowl and the ravens thought he was done? and then he went to the superbowl with the 49ers and had ~1200 yards last year at age 33?

so he's 1 year younger than smith. with like 800 less yards on his career. he just got a 2 year 12 million deal from the 49ers. and they have crabtree, vernon davis, kyle williams, etc.

we let the dude go and we have..........? marvin mcnutt?

bill polian has steve smith rated as the 6th best free agent receiver in the league this year including the guys that already resigned with their teams. and only slightly behind the other 5. so we're paying him 9 million to go away?

no logic in here HOG MOLLY M'EFFERS!!!!!

Posted by: charlottean | Mar 13, 2014 10:13:33 PM

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