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February 19, 2015

Rivera, Gettleman talk Newton, Hardy and tackles

Panthers general manager Dave Gettleman and coach Ron Rivera both addressed the media Thursday at the scouting combine in Indianapolis.

Five quick takeaways:

1-The writing is on the wall for Greg Hardy.

Both Rivera and Gettleman declined to comment specifically about Hardy, who remains on the exempt list while the league investigates his domestic violence case.

But it was telling that Gettleman said he hasn't spoken with Hardy since mid-September when he went on the exempt list, and has had only minimal contact with Drew Rosenhaus, Hardy's agent.

And when discussing drafting players with character issues, Gettleman said: "Who wants a ticking time bomb?"

2-Don't dismiss DeAngelo Williams, yet.

There has been a lot of speculation the Panthers might cut Williams, who is coming off an injury-plagued season and turns 32 in April.

Gettleman and Rivera recently sat down with Williams, and Rivera called it a good meeting.

The only time Gettleman met with Steve Smith last year was when he told him he was cutting him.

3-The Panthers will explore all their options at left tackle.

Neither Gettleman nor Rivera ruled out bringing Byron Bell back, although Gettleman said this year's tackle class is deeper than last year's top-heavy group.

Rivera said the Panthers would look at free agent tackles and college tackles -- as well as Bell, who will be an unrestricted free agent next month -- as part of their evaluation process.

4-Cam Newton is feeling good.

Newton, who is expected to finish his degree at Auburn this semester, was in Charlotte recently and told Rivera he's as healthy as he's been in a long time.

Gettleman wouldn't discuss Newton's contract status, but said -- again -- that Newton is the team's long-term quarterback.

5-The need for speed.

Watching the playoff loss to Seattle only reinforced Rivera's belief that the Panthers need to get faster -- and not just at skill positions.

The Panthers' injection of youth and speed late in the season helped spur the December run into the playoffs. But Rivera said there are still areas where the Panthers can get faster.

Given No. 1 on this list, expect the Panthers' scouts and coaches to keep a close eye on the edge rushers here this week.

--Joseph Person

Posted by Observer Sports on February 19, 2015 at 02:42 PM | Permalink


MARK my WORDS... GREG HARDY will be a PANTHER in 2015.

Posted by: Kelly Tripuka | Feb 19, 2015 6:10:05 PM

I hope we go OT or CB in the first. As much as we may want an edge rusher, we still do well w Whiteshoes Johnson, Star, and Short. I guess Ealy is still seasoning.

Posted by: Polar vortex | Feb 19, 2015 7:05:14 PM


Posted by: Panthers1995 | Feb 19, 2015 7:57:47 PM

Cam is still AWFUL!

Posted by: Cam is awful | Feb 20, 2015 10:43:17 AM

I have the feeling all of this Hardy business is to get him for a lower price.

slam his character, make everyone wonder, lower the price down, then give him a chance at where he has always been to redeem himself while saving a few million.

Posted by: tony clifton | Feb 20, 2015 11:55:33 AM

greg hardy won't be suspended to miss games in 2015. he will pay for the games he WOULD have been suspended in 2014.

unless his agent can finagle a way to allow that suspension to cost him less money based on his next contract (surely closer to the minimum than the franchise tag). i doubt it. I expect about a 5 million dollar fine and the guy is active from day 1. he already sat 15 games.

Posted by: charlottean | Feb 20, 2015 3:27:28 PM

I really hate Gettlemen.

So he talks to Williams but didn't talk to Smith before cutting him? Wtf?

They still want to hang on to Bell who is arguably the worst LT in the NFL.

He will low ball Cam or franchise him and will probably give Luke an extension first.

I also bet he will not draft an OL in the first round or give Cam any weapons. He will keep him surrounding with cheap, second tier players like Philly Brown & Brenton Bersin.

Posted by: D.W.G. | Feb 20, 2015 4:50:42 PM

byron bell is worth keeping. he just isn't a starting left tackle. he's an above average backup with the ability to play tackle or guard and experience at both tackle spots. and he was a passable right tackle in 2013.

way worse was trying to move him over and bring nate chandler over from the defense to play right tackle. that along with godfrey playing corner was just idiotic. no logic to his movements what so ever.

williams should be brought back this year. we don't save enough to justify cutting him as opposed to restructuring again and getting the most out of him for one more year.

Posted by: charlottean | Feb 20, 2015 7:37:26 PM

Release the Kraken!!!

Posted by: The Kraken | Feb 22, 2015 10:02:15 AM

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