Waiting for the Carolina Panthers to sign a big-time free agent is like watching your basketball team in the NIT. The NCAA tournament gets all the attention, as do the NFL teams that sign the big names. So you wait for your time.
The Panthers will sign free agents but they will be free agents that many fans have never heard of. These free agents will supplement. They'll fill a need.
It's not exciting, but free-agency is not an end in itself. You can't win free-agency. It's simply a way to make your team better. Tight end Jeremy Shockey, last season's biggest free-agent acquisition (other than the players Carolina retained), made the Panthers better. Now he's free again.
There is no immediate free agent report card, or shouldn't be. You measure the additions when the season ends.
Enjoy the NIT.