I was enjoying a nice calm Halloween day, free from any Carolina Panthers controversies or drama. A nice change of pace these days. Then the news of the Panthers trade with Buffalo hit the twitterverse. Kelvin Benjamin was being sent to Buffalo in exchange for a third and seventh round draft choice.
A volcano of news with molten hot takes spewing from its core. Are the Carolina Panthers packing it in for this season? Certainly not. But I do have a few thoughts of my own.
Thought 1 – 2015 is irrelevant
So how will this trade impact the Carolina Panthers offense this season? I have seen many claim the Panthers had a great offensive year without Kelvin Benjamin in 2015 so obviously this will only help the offense. Unfortunately, this is an overly simplistic view.
In 2015 the Carolina Panthers also had Ryan Kalil, Michael Oher, Greg Olsen, and a Cam Newton that was in MVP form. None of that applies to the Panthers currently. Assuming this move gets the Panthers offense back into 2015 form is just wishful thinking. Nothing more.
We have seen the Carolina Panthers play without Benjamin this year. Against New Orleans, Benjamin left the game early due to injury after playing only seven snaps. The result? 13 points against the lowly Saints defense and a big fat L. That isn’t exactly a 2015 type performance, is it?
Trading Kelvin Benjamin will not improve the offense. Increasing the role of actual speed guys like Curtis Samuel might, but that could have been done with Benjamin still on the roster. Now the Panthers are a Devin Funchess injury away from tanking this season. In the end, the result will be something that could have been attained all while keeping the little depth that existed at the position to begin with. Not smart.
Thought 2 – Marty Hurney is not an interim GM
This was the first notion that entered my mind when I heard the news. Historically, interim GMs are merely stewards of the team’s roster and salary cap. They serve the team in limited capacity, keeping things in a holding pattern until a full time replacement is hired.
Trading away a first round pick and a significant part of the offense is not something an interim GM does. I have long suspected that Hurney was the permanent GM ever since his hire, and yesterday’s transaction only solidifies that opinion. Aside from a few interviews to satisfy the Rooney rule, I suspect little effort will be made to find a replacement. Hurney is the guy.
Thought 3 – Hurney still loves a trade
Marty Hurney loves him a trade. Sometimes this works in the Panthers favor (Greg Olsen), sometimes not (Armanti Edwards). Hurney is not a guy that is afraid to roll the dice. Unfortunately, those dice more times than not work against the Carolina Panthers’ interests. For years a running joke was that someone needed to unplug Marty Hurney’s phone on draft day.
It looks like we can dust off that classic in 2018.Agree? Disagree? You can sound off right here with thousands of Carolina Panthers fans.