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March 12, 2014

Ginn visits with Bucs, LaFell reportedly visits with Patriots

Wide receiver/kick returner Ted Ginn Jr., who was considered a priority for the Panthers this offseason, visited with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers on Wednesday, the Bucs confirmed.

Ginn was the Panthers No. 3 wide receiver last season as well as their top returner in both the punting and kicking game. No. 2 receiver Brandon LaFell reportedly met with the New England Patriots, and the Denver Broncos and New York Jets are also interested in LaFell, according to a report.

Ginn signed a one-year, $1.1 million contract with the Panthers last offseason after two forgettable seasons in San Francisco. In Carolina, Ginn resurrected his career, which began with being a top-10 pick in the draft by the Dolphins. He caught 36 passes for 556 yards and five touchdowns for the Panthers last season.

His role could have increased in the Panthers’ offense in 2014 moving forward. After the Panthers franchise tagged defensive end Greg Hardy, Ginn and safety Mike Mitchell were the team’s top two priorities heading into free agency. Mitchell signed with the Steelers on Tuesday for five years and $25 million.

LaFell finished 2013 with 627 receiving yards and five touchdowns in the final year of his rookie contract. He had been planning to test free-agent waters, and at least two teams with future Hall of Fame quarterbacks in pass-heavy offenses are interested in LaFell.

Here’s a look at the wide receivers on the current Panthers roster.

--Jonathan Jones

Posted by Observer Sports on March 12, 2014 at 04:40 PM | Permalink


No No No. We're just getting ridiculous now. Gettleman better do some explaining. And he better do it soon.

Posted by: Smitty | Mar 12, 2014 5:41:42 PM

LOL. What should he explain? How he went 12-4 last year with no cap space and a total mess left behind by the former GM? Let the man do his job, he knows how, we don't.

Posted by: Kent | Mar 12, 2014 5:45:52 PM

Unless we are missing some facts about money, cap space, etc ... DEAR DAVE PLEASE DON"T RELEASE STEVE SMITH !!! He is better than Hakeem Nix. He'd be a great number two. (let's draft a number one in first round, or a tackle) Again, Dear DG unless we are just missing something about Steve's attitude or money .. why release a fan favorite and part of the heart & soul of team (especially if you plan on overpaying another WR?) You have to pay Steve $3 million anyways and take a $5 million salary cap hit, plus any quality receiver is at least $2 million (2-4) = same $7 million you'd be paying without any re-structure (CAN ANYONE HELP ME MAKE SENSE OF THAT???)

Posted by: Isaiah | Mar 12, 2014 5:46:49 PM

Jerry Richardson - thanks for cutting the best player in franchise history, raising prices and screwing the city out of renovation your $3B franchise could easily afford. Now, just raise concession prices for terrible food and crap beer choices and you will have your off season business plan accomplished. Ahole! I liked the team better when you had your idiot sons running the show.

Posted by: 1andDone | Mar 12, 2014 6:02:15 PM

kent,what he would be explaining is how major pieces from that 12-4 team are walking out the door with nothing coming in to replace them. I'm not upset about Mike Mitchell (Pttsburg drastically overpaid that guy). Or even Lafell. But you just can't let half team walk out the door and still compete at a high level.

Posted by: Smitty | Mar 12, 2014 6:10:26 PM

You don't just let Ted Ginn and Steve Smith walk away and think you're going to scare the Seahawks with Brent Bersin and Tavares King. We have to move fast before the good players are snatched and we just aren't.

Posted by: Smitty | Mar 12, 2014 6:13:32 PM

Fire Mike Shula, not Smitty! Cam needs to work on his pocket awareness and accuracy. It's not Smitty's fault our offense sucked! Cut Jonothan Stewart instead.

Posted by: gz | Mar 12, 2014 7:02:21 PM

Smitty, we're not even two days into free agency, how do you know that no one is coming into to replace them? And you can't move fast when you have NO MONEY.
Do you really think Mitchell is worth $25 million dollars, I don't.
Do you really think Ted Gin is worth millions, I don't.
As for Smith, he's always been a favorite of mine, but he's no longer a #1.
Gettleman makes football decisions, and does it without emotion, get used to it.

Posted by: Kent | Mar 12, 2014 7:06:28 PM

Cam hasn't progressed as much as everyone would like to overhype him to be. Maybe Cam should work more on pocket passing in the offseason for the job that pays him so well, instead of going back to school. Now Smitty is getting fired because Cam & Shula stunk it up. I still don't know how Cam made it to the pro bowl!

Posted by: gz | Mar 12, 2014 7:13:29 PM

It's not Smitty's fault Cam takes 8-10 seconds to find an open reciever.

Posted by: gz | Mar 12, 2014 7:26:49 PM

Mike Shula is a horrble play caller. He called a few nice trick plays, thats it.

Posted by: gz | Mar 12, 2014 8:06:34 PM

To be honest, I've never been a fan of Steve Smith the person - I was one of the people who felt he should have been released after he attacked Anthony Bright - in fact he should have gone to jail for that, as would have happened to any of us. But I've always respected his skills and determination. I can't understand how the Panthers have bungled this situation so badly, and it's really tough to understand what they think their plan at WR is. Even if they draft WR in the first round, first year WR's are very seldom impact players. And given the obvious approach of going only after low-priced veterans, it sure looks like it's going to be a motley crew at best this year at WR. I sure hope they have an ace or two up their sleeve, but somehow I doubt it. It's too bad.

Posted by: Wayne D | Mar 12, 2014 9:34:38 PM

Dear Kent ... Smitty counts 5 million on salary cap whether he plays for us or not plus the cost of new receiver ... there is NO way to SPIN that as a cost saving move ... so quite frankly it doesn't matter if Steve is #1, 2, or even 3 financially it doesn't make sense and if there is no behind the scenes drama (and by all written accounts it seems Smith would be ok with #2 and possibly even lowering salary cap hit with restructure) getting rid of him really makes no sense unless we could get a frist round (no way a team goes for that) or a low second rounder for him (thus enabling us to get a good receiver and lineman in the first two rounds)

Posted by: Isaiah | Mar 12, 2014 9:50:21 PM

I'm sure GM Dave Gettleman has a plan and feel better that he's in charge rather than Hurney. Remember, it'll take more than 1 year to undo the giveaways and poor decision that has occurred many times before under Hurney. That said, Gettleman should have a better PR consultant or something because his handling of the Steve Smith situation could've been handled with more class and professionalism, in my humble opinion.

Posted by: CLTfan | Mar 12, 2014 9:59:52 PM

Isaiah, It makes sense to get rid of a player if you feel you can find someone to play at a higher level. It may not make the most sense at this very minute to cut Smith from a financial standpoint, but if you get a younger player who can play at a higher level, then that's the best thing for the team on the field.
Clearly, Gettleman believes that Smith isn't a #1 any longer, and that Smith is not the guy to stand back and watch someone else be the #1 guy.
Maybe, Gettleman could have be more gentle in the way he handled the matter, but he clearly isn't concerned about feelings.
None of us should feel bad for Smith, The Panthers paid him millions of dollars and kept him when they could have easily justified parting ways because of his behavior.
Smith was an awesome player, but a new day has arrived in Carolina.

Posted by: Kent | Mar 12, 2014 11:45:46 PM

Kent, part of my point is we can still get a younger and or better receiver and keep steve also with the money they have to pay him anyway ( 5 mil)... he says he'd prefer to be a number 2 slot guy, i'm not in the locker room so can't say, but a saying says when we think to view another or what another might do we always see in part a mirror dimly lit ..maybe Dave G would be a distraction as a second fiddle and thught beason would be so gave him away for a 7 and now is he pre judging Smith? just asking? without being there i think Steve would adjust his field, practice, game, and locker room roles .. he has grown a lot as a man the last few years.

Posted by: isaiah | Mar 13, 2014 12:37:33 AM

Release the Kraken!!!

Posted by: The Kraken | Mar 13, 2014 8:44:01 AM

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