Carolina would not have traded Jeff Otah for a seventh-round pick unless the Panthers in turn could trade a seventh-round pick for often injured Oakland receiver Louis Murphy.
Murphy ran a sub 4.4 40 at Florida. At 6-2 and 200 pounds, he won't run that now. But the Panthers say he has speed and size and knows how to get open. Head coach Ron Rivera coached against Murphy, 25, when Rivera ran the defense at San Diego.
Otah could have a fine season with the New York Jets. Otah is a talent. Had he played left tackle, and not right tackle, he might have made the Pro Bowl his second season.
The Panthers think he needed a new start and, more importantly, think that they needed to start training camp without him.
How long do you wait for a player to get off the sideline and play? How does Otah's presence affect teammates who are working hard yet know they could be supplanted if Otah ever is healthy enough to trot onto the field?
The temptation is to call Otah a malingerer. But he's asking his knee to support 350 pounds. Knees weren't designed to do that. So an injury that would be minor for the rest of us became habitual for him....
Talked to linebacker Jon Beason after practice. Says he feels good. Also says that what was instinctive before he finds himself thinking about now. He tore his left Achilles in the opener against Arizona last season....
On the first play of rookie camp Monday two players tripped over each other directly in front of Thomas Davis. Davis, who has ripped up the same knee three times, was wary. But as practice went on, says Rivera, Davis became comfortable. Rivera says Davis looks great....
Rookie linebacker Luke Kuechly knows what he needs to bout training camp. Somebody asked him what he knew about Spartanburg.
He said it was hot.
Teammates told him to pack light but to bring a comforter because the dorms in which the players stay will be cold.
"I killed Target," Kuechly says.
Along with the comforter, he bought a mattress pad.
Somebody suggested a rug for the dorm floor.
"By the time I get back to the room I don't care what the floor looks like," Kuechly says.
He understands his role.
"It's my turn to come in and learn," he says.