Be interesting to see how the Panthers approach free agency. Their philosophy has long been to reward their draft picks, as opposed to draft picks from other teams. They'll undoubtedly sign peripheral players they think have a chance to thrive, or at least play, in their system.
Their moves since the end of the 2012 season suggest they like what they have. They hired a general manager who has not shaken up the organization by bringing in new people. They retained head coach Ron Rivera. They promoted their quarterbacks coach, Mike Shula, to offensive coordinator.
So the team we see in 2013 will look like the team we saw in '12.
But an infusion of talent is required. To compete, the Panthers need: an interior offensive lineman, an interior defensive lineman, a cornerback and a safety.They also could use a wide receiver, a player with speed who could complement Steve Smith.
Maybe they acquire these players in the draft and off the waiver wire. But free-agent talent is dangling out there, especially at cornerback.
Atlanta's Dunta Robinson apparently will sign with Kansas City.
But there's a good young corner out there, and he is Rivera's kind of player -- he played at San Diego.
Antoine Cason, as ESPN's Pat Yasinskas reported, would be a fine fit.
Cason is 26 and played in college at Arizona. He's big enough at 6-1 and 195 pounds, and has intercepted at least two passes in each of his five seasons in the league.
Cason is being courted by other teams; cornerbacks always are.
The Panthers probably will sit this one out. But love to see them break protocol and make a run at him.