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March 27, 2015

Did Panthers drop the Ball?

The Alan Ball-to-Carolina deal wasn't done after all.

A week after the free agent cornerback visited the Panthers -- and a couple of media outlets reported he had signed with Carolina or was about to -- Ball signed a one-year deal with Chicago on Friday, the Bears announced.

League sources told the Observer last week the two sides had discussed contract parameters for a one-year deal worth $2 million, with $1 million guaranteed.

Panthers general manager Dave Gettleman indicated at the owners meeting that Ball and free agent wideout Greg Jennings, who also visited Carolina last week, wanted to make sure the Panthers were a good fit.

"Think about it this way, Alan's a 29-year-old veteran. Greg Jennings is 32. They don't want to become gypsies. Both of those guys are married. They're grounded, good people," Gettleman said in Phoenix.

"For both of them, the fit is really important. So we kicked the tires on each other, that's what we did."

Ball grew up in Michigan and played collegiately at Illinois. It sounds like it was mostly a case of him returning to his Midwestern roots.

“I’m excited,” Ball told the Bears' web site. “I’m honored actually. Being in Detroit growing up, watching the Bears my whole life, going to the University of Illinois, I’m honored to be here.”

The prevailing thought was by signing Ball, the Panthers could move second-year corner Bene' Benwikere to nickel back full-time.

And while playing inside against a slot receiver might be Benwikere's best position, Gettleman said Benwikere has shown he has the speed to match up with receivers on the outside, as well.

"People get caught up in 40-yard dash times. We evaluate guys based on play speed. And the proof's in the pudding," said Gettleman. "He has the play speed to be outside. But it's a competition and the best guy plays. Obviously, we know he can play the nickel and he's good at it."

--Joseph Person

Posted by Observer Sports on March 27, 2015 at 01:19 PM | Permalink


What about good ole #89?

Posted by: Jerry RIchardson | Mar 27, 2015 3:48:58 PM

so......add cornerback back on that draft priorities list. right after tackle.

Posted by: charlottean | Mar 27, 2015 4:52:22 PM

Gettleman let this one get away. Receiver, secondary, and special teams are needs that need to be addressed in the draft.

Posted by: Whitecomet77 | Mar 27, 2015 5:39:35 PM

I'm officially done with the Panthers Johnathan Martin? You cut the Kragen, and sign the powder puff snitch to guard who? A quarterback who needs all the protection he can get. Never was a Cam Newton fan but I truly feel sorry for the guy.

Posted by: Hmmmm | Mar 27, 2015 6:41:29 PM

Hmmmm we get it. You don't like gays or blacks. To ignorant to even spell Kraken. Go back to your cave.

Posted by: deepenwide | Mar 27, 2015 7:14:41 PM


Posted by: MOUNTAIN PANTHER | Mar 27, 2015 8:25:12 PM

Who the hell is Kragen , you moron?

Posted by: JayC | Mar 28, 2015 3:33:35 AM

Really they do exist farm raised idiots go back to school and not home school. Kragen!! What an idiot! Go Panthers!!!!!!!!!

Posted by: Panthercraze | Mar 28, 2015 12:17:05 PM

Yes, you guys know Kragen! The captain on law and order SVU. Captain Kragen

Posted by: Darrell | Mar 28, 2015 3:03:23 PM

We're still far away even with these dollar store signings. We need to draft well and trade up if a gamechanger is there.

Posted by: lakerman4567 | Mar 28, 2015 9:10:43 PM

All I have to say is... thank gawd none of you folks will ever be the Panthers' GM.

Posted by: swizzlesticks | Mar 29, 2015 4:48:53 PM

I don't see how anyone can blame Dave for this. He reached a deal with a player that the player tried to go back on and attempted to get more money after the agreement and the Panthers wouldn't budge. Great job by the front office because it's not like we're talking Sherman or Revis here.

Posted by: John Ellis | Mar 29, 2015 7:56:19 PM

Cam is still AWFUL!

Posted by: Cam is awful | Mar 30, 2015 9:47:34 AM

Deepenwide sounds like your typical ignorant, assuming, ghetto piece of trash who thinks he knows it all, or maybe he is just another black man playing the victim. Whaaa whaa

Posted by: Pants up, Don't loot | Mar 30, 2015 9:54:35 AM

We will never win a superbowl with Cammy Cam anyway, so don't get your hopes up.

Posted by: Cam is awful | Mar 30, 2015 9:59:05 AM

Atlanta gets caught piping in fan noise. Loses their 5th rounder..


Posted by: PoleCat | Mar 30, 2015 1:50:09 PM

The fact that the gm took so long to make gm was because of poor decision making. And this was before he got the job with the Giants. And it was no help of him the Giants won the super bowl when he was there, they already had the right players in the right place at the right time. To let all the players who helped take the team close to the super bowl go yea bad move and if it wasn't for the poor play of the division we wouldn't have won the south title again. A real gm would have made sure those guys were kept and look for a repeat or super bowl win before he let them go. And as cam go he has to go into this role he is in. He good and can only become better with time. Stop being a fan when they win and quick to jump ship when they lose. This is the reason players from football to basketball leave charlotte teams because there is no love or loyalty from fans or the news media.

Posted by: J.smith | Apr 9, 2015 8:12:14 PM

Charlotte fans, on par with Boston fans? Survey says "They're getting there!"

Posted by: Pineapplelucky | Apr 23, 2015 7:00:27 PM

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