If you are like me, you are waking up this morning with a free agency hangover that would rival any whiskey bottle. It seemed every minute of the day on Friday was filled with one exciting move after another. I cannot remember a more exciting free agent period in Carolina Panthers history. So what gives?
I’ll tell you. Jerry Richardson wants to win. This year. Now.
Some will point to this season being the only season that Panthers GM Dave Gettleman has had with adequate funds. There is some truth in that, but last season Gettleman had a sizable chunk of change to roll over into the 2017 salary cap, so that is not entirely true.
The simplest explanation for the complete 180 in free agent philosophy this season is the Carolina Panthers are finally in “Win Now” mode. Up until now it was all about getting the right pieces in place. The core of the team needed to be built. It is a process. You have heard all of the buzz words and catch phrases I am sure.
Now, for the first time in Dave Gettleman’s history, the Carolina Panthers are heading into the NFL Draft without any major concerns. Sure, they could use a young prospect here or there. A tight end, a running back, or perhaps a safety. But none of these are absolutely crucial to the Panthers winning this season. The Panthers can once again truly focus on selecting the best available player.
Finally, for the first time in the Dave Gettleman tenure, Carolina Panthers fans will see what this team can do when they go “all in”. Excited? Good, you should be.