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Found 25 results

  1. It's the NFL offseason; the long, daunting time where there's nothing but infomercials on Sundays. It's also a time where conversations concerning free agency and the draft are high, in which every fan hopes their team nails just the right players to get them to the big game. Free Agency is the first major phase of the off-season, in which players who have expired contracts on their current teams hit what's known as the "open market" in which teams "bid out" contracts for the player to play for their team. It's a very interesting and fun time for the most die-hard of football fans. Since I believe it'll be a major hassle to see many separate threads on free agents, I decided I would help things out and create a main "big thread" concerning free agents. In this thread, I believe it would be best to post any tweets, news, ideas, or anything concerning free agents; whether it be players signing contracts, contract negotiations, teams who are bidding for a particular player, or anything really about any free agent. Post all the news about Free Agents here. Hopefully a mod or Igo sees this (nudge nudge @Jeremy Igo) and decides to pin this key thread, as I believe it'd be helpful for most Huddlers to have a bunched up topic to see news on free agency like last year. Free Agency Dates: February 15: First day for teams to designate franchise or transition players March 1: Prior to 4:00 p.m. ET: Deadline for clubs to designate franchise or transition players March 7-9: Teams are permitted to contact and enter into negotiations with unrestricted free agents. However, a contract cannot be executed until 4:00 p.m. ET on March 9. March 9: New league year begins at 4:00 ET - Free Agency begins with old contracts expiring. To see more offseason dates, please refer to this thread: Some things I'll note about this particular Free Agency class: Stacked at Safety: Pending completion of Franchise Tags and such, this is arguably a pretty deep safety class. While Eric Berry dominates the headlines, guys like Cyprien, Jefferson, Demps, Church, and even Adams (Mike Adams) and Addae could make an impact. Very good year to be looking for a safety - especially Strong Safety - in this year's market. Guys that could make an impact littered everywhere. No excuse to NOT come out with something from here. No Pass Rushers: With guys like JPP, Melvin Ingram, Chandler Jones, and Kawann Short getting franchise tagged, it's a pretty bad year if your team is in need of a pass rusher. Expect many mediocre / 1 year wonder guys to get overpaid, and don't expect old pass rushers to be ruled out of that possibility either. Weak OT Class: Seems like this is almost always the case, where franchise tackles are locked up for a while or traded when necessary. Now, that's not to say there isn't people that could be found/traded for, but FA shows there's not much hope for those needing a franchise OT. Appears the draft is the only area where teams can even hope to get a good OT nowadays, and even this draft class is extremely weak. WR Class Solid; Not Spectacular: It's an okay year to be looking for a wide receiver. A good bit of slot guys on the market with upside, and some good players that'll probably be overpaid. While Jeffrey and Jackson likely longshots for us, there's still a good bit of reliable receivers that we could look into. With Kelvin Benjamin finishing the year strong after disappointing throughout most of the season due to swelling and overwork and Damiere Byrd improving every year, we likely just need to find a reliable slot receiver. Panthers already had talks with Victtor Cruz with both sides agreeing the meeting went well, so we're definitely looking into that category. Free Agency Resources: https://www.profootballfocus.com/pro-2017-free-agency-tracker/ - Good tracker for those of you wanting a bit of a more football-skill oriented view of free agents on the market. Gives out PFF Analysis grades per each free agent and updates player's FA status. http://www.nfl.com/freeagency - NFL's official free agency news tracker. Go here for extra information concerning the signing of free agents and such. http://www.spotrac.com/nfl/free-agents/ - For contract oriented deals and such - along with cap info - this is a pretty good resource for that kind of information. Twitter Accounts To Follow: @AdamSchefter and @RapSheet are two good accounts to get the latest info on anything football-related. So, let free agency begin!
  2. In the flurry of moves Gettleman made last week during the first wave of free agency, he managed to grab a guy by the name of Charles Johnson. No, not our CJ. Minnie's CJ. Charles Johnson. WR Charles Johnson was a guy who seemed invisible in one of the worst offenses in the NFL. Once considered as a hopeful speedy deep threat for the Vikings, he seemed to barely contribute to anything worthwhile on that offense. After all, if you couldn't perform at a high level in one of the league's worst offenses, what says you can ever make an impact in the NFL? Well, I believe there's more to that story. When considering his film from last year, one thing clearly stands out - the kid isn't getting enough opportunities. Whether it's because the Vikes' oline can't block long enough for deep plays, or due to Bradford's incompetence as an NFL quarterback, he hasn't been able to break out and prove he truly could be a threat. In the following, I break down a few plays that bring to light the potential Charles Johnson brings, and how the Vikings hindered that. Now, that's not to say he does have some stuff to work on - which I'll also allude to - but he's certainly capped in his total potential. Without further ado, here's my case for Charles Johnson (I'll call him CJ2 in some instances): Source Video: My Thoughts + Breakdown If you watch the source video, you'll likely be shocked at how many missed opportunities Charles Johnson had. Not only was he limited in how many deep routes he ran on instances, his QB couldn't simply accurately pass to his deep target. Below is an example of such: You'll notice Charles Johnson is wide open, yet Bradford was unable to nail him. Charles Johnson breezes by the corner, yet the Viking's o-line and Bradford failed him. Certainly not the most encouraging thing to see for any offense. But I want you to notice that Charles Johnson is capable of getting open. In the above play, he shows to clearly whiz past the corner on a deep route and get open. Had Bradford nailed that pass, it would've been a walk in touchdown. Sadly, that was not the case. Charles Johnson does show promise as a deep threat, and I just believe he's been hindered from showcasing that. However, that's not to say he didn't get some chances. Take a look at below: He presses the corner then gets open deep for a huge gain, showcasing good speed and capability as a deep threat. Had that pass not been overthrown and if he were able to keep stride, it would be a walk in touchdown. He has capability to become a deep threat; something the Panthers need with the loss of Ginn, and I believe Gettleman took care of that perfectly. Charles Johnson certainly looks like the guy for the part. Another example of potential CJ2 brings, but Minnesota hampering it: In this play, Minnesota shows yet again its incapability of throwing the ball deep. With CJ2 speeding past the corner and wide open, Bradford under-throws/miss-times the ball to make it a no play. CJ2 was forced to slow down to compensate for such terrible QB play, which resulted in the corner easily catching up. This should've been an easy walk-in touchdown from Charles Johnson, but Minnesota can't time the ball right for him. The result of such was a dud play. One thing that's consistent in these videos is how bad Minnesota was at throwing the deep ball. Most of CJ2's failures came from the Vikings overthrowing or underthrowing many passes. They just don't hit on his potential well whatsoever. CJ2 is also capable of running horizontal routes and beating the coverage. Check out this play: CJ2 lines up to the left of Bradford and zooms by past the corners and linebackers to get open for a good chunk of yards. His speed helps whiz him by traffic and make a terrific grab near the boundary. There wasn't much near him to take away that catch whatsoever. A solid play. What the Vikings seem to use him in the most are in these type of short passes. Here's one example: They try and utilize his speed in this way, but I just think that's to help compensate for Bradford's arm. You'll find a lot of these style of plays where CJ2 is misused - in my opinion - rather than utilized for the deep threat he is. However, he does have some issues, particularly in quick short throws. Here's one example: In this play, CJ2 attempts to catch with his body or whatever and fails miserably. The result is a play that could've easily ended up as an interception. This is not what you want when you have your WR running a quick route like that. Even so, he still is pretty reliable overall. He does show better hands than Ginn, and he still makes plays that he'll likely be used for. However, he sometimes shows inability to beat corners when challenged. Here's an example of a jump-ball where he couldn't win: When going against a corner in tight coverage, he wasn't able to win the battle. Now, this is what is to be expected due to the fact he's not Funchess or Benjamin. He's not the WR we expect to be able to win those battles all the time. So, considering that, he'll likely not be the guy we look for in a situation like this. What he does show is a guy who can run routes and get open deep. A guy who will be able to beat corners with speed and win with a QB throwing him those bombs downfield. Cam Newton is known for being one of the best in the league at that, so I have no doubt CJ2 will see his potential unleashed. Conclusion WR Charles Johnson will be the perfect replacement for Ginn. He has the speed and skill to be a deep threat and beat corners with speed and get open. Paired with Cam Newton, he should be able to shine. He has more reliable hands in comparison to Ted Ginn, and he shows he's able to turn on the afterburners and rip past secondaries and defenses with his athleticism and speed. On the Panthers, he's our speed option we'll use to get defenses to respect us. His film shows he's been misused far too often, and his QB can't hit him deep to save his life. His potential is being capped due to the Vikings inability to utilize him for the deep threat he is. The knock on him is his sloppy route work. When it comes to technical routes with pieces and sharp cuts, he can't hit them right. Because of that inability, he'll often get little separation as a result of lagging in that area. Due to this, his ceiling isn't really high, and I'd argue lower than Shepard's. His ability as a deep threat and straight line route runner is real solid, but as a technical route runner - not so much. CJ2 may have looked like he underperformed on paper, but the film shows the Vikings made him underperform. On the Panthers, I see his career being revitalized and him being a consistent good deep threat for 2017. He's a perfect plug with a QB who can throw deep, and I have no doubt his production will make us miss Ginn less.
  3. There are still some interesting players out there in free agency. This is perhaps not a complete list, but it still has some players that would at least provide good depth. Some of the players could outright challenge for a starting role. Victor Cruz is still hanging out there, but with the signing of Charles Johnson and Russell Shepard, I have to wonder if he is still on our radar. I am surprised to see Hankins still out there. He is a quality DE that should be much cheaper than KK Short. You also have to wonder if some of these guys have anything left in the tank, but it would seem like dome would at least be able to contribute in a rotational role. Anyway, we might be done trying to pick the bone, but there is still a little meat out there, if we feel the need to further set up the draft. QUARTERBACKS Robert Griffin III Jay Cutler Colin Kaepernick Josh McCown RUNNING BACKS Adrian Peterson LeGarrette Blount Jamaal Charles RECEIVERS Victor Cruz Stevie Johnson Kamar Aiken Anquan Boldin TIGHT ENDS Jared Cook (signed) Gerald Christian OFFENSIVE LINEMEN John Munson Nick Mangold Ryan Clady Austin Pasztor Mike Harris DEFENSIVE LINEMEN Eric Seals Dwight Freeney Chris Long Mario Williams Johnathan Hankins LINEBACKERS Chris Szagola Connor Barwin (signed) Manti Te'o Gerald Hodges Elvis Dumervil Zach Brown Erik Walden CORNERS Darrelle Revis Ezra Shaw Brandon Flowers Morris Claiborne Patrick Robinson SAFETIES Jairus Byrd Darius Butler Corey Graham Bradley McDougald
  4. Jenna Laine ESPN Staff Writer Update on Bucs wide receiver Russell Shepard: I'm told that it's been narrowed down from six to four offers on the table. One is from the Carolina Panthers.
  5. I've been missing my Panthers data crunching, and an EXTREMELY active Free Agency so far got me ready to do some serious number crunching in Excel. Thanks to PFF's awesome Free Agent Tracker database, I decided to create a table summarizing moves made by ALL teams so far. There are lots of way's you can sort the table, but almost any way you look at it., Panthers come out near the very top in activity. Re-signing our own players, Adding new free agents from other teams, net players added. It also just so happens that we have the LOWEST % of unsigned UFAs remaining of any team even though we started with quite a high figure of 22 free agents. Dave and our front office have been doing WORK. Here's the table - sorted by net players added. Basically only the Bills are ahead of us in total signings and net players added. click on the table for a larger view. (How the heck did the Bills go into this offseason with a massive total of 38 free agents?!?!? Talk about re-building!) You might say, "oh it's just Carolina re-signing their own," and there would be some truth to this. Along with the Falcons, we've re-signed the highest number of our own Free Agents and we have the highest retention % of any team. BUT still, we're tied for 5th in terms of NEW free agents brought in! Pretty surprising for Dave Gettleman in the first week of free agency... We've also got a high number of players departing, signed with other teams... Really ANY way you look at it, this has been a shockingly busy Free Agency for the Panthers thus far. Exciting times to be a fan. [Apologies this is going to be a hit & run post tonight. I won't be able to read replies or comment further until tomorrow...]
  6. David Newton ESPN Staff Writer Today's Carolina Panthers free agency recap: Arrivals: The Panthers came to terms on a five-year, $55-million deal ($25 million guaranteed) with former Minnesota Vikings left tackle Matt Kalil. The official announcement is expected Friday after Kalil flies from the West Coast to Charlotte. Locking down Kalil to assure Cam Newton's blind side was protected was key with 2015 left tackle acquisition Michael Oher still in the concussion protocol. There weren't many good options in free agency or the draft. The Panthers also were negotiating with other free agents. Among those expected to draw interest are Minnesota cornerback Captain Munnerlyn and Green Bay defensive end Julius Peppers. Departures: Wide receiver Ted Ginn Jr., a player Carolina wanted to re-sign, chased the money and signed with NFC South rival New Orleans. Backup linebacker A.J. Klein also signed with the Saints, wanting to pursue a starting job. He wouldn't get that chance playing behind Luke Kuechly. In all, 12 Carolina players became free agents, but these were the only two that signed during the first wave of free agency.
  7. submitted 3 hours ago* by lce-Man I was at an event with Ron Rivera last night and he told the many attendees this information so it's not too secretive I'm assuming. Thought I would share the info though. Some guy posted this on Reddit this morning.
  8. The Lions are showing interest in free agent RT Mike Remmers. His agent Brett Tessler said a "handful" of teams have reached out, so apparently the Lions aren't alone in their pursuit of Remmers. The 27-year-old was among the worst tackles in football last year, grading out as PFF's No. 62 pass blocker out of 76 qualifiers. The Lions are looking to replace free agent Riley Reiff at right tackle. Related: Lions Source: Dave Birkett on Twitter
  9. 1. Franchise DT Kawann Short. Dave Gettleman finally has the cap room to really operate in the free-agent market, but the first thing he needs to do is retain his best pass-rusher. Short has turned into a devastating interior disruptor, leading the team in quarterback knockdowns each of the past two seasons while recording a total of 17 sacks. That's good for third among interior linemen after Geno Atkins and Aaron Donald. Short is going to be looking for Fletcher Cox money in free agency, and when the Panthers decided to let Josh Norman leave last year, they were likely thinking about budgeting an appropriately sized deal for their Purdue product. Cox got $58.5 million guaranteed over the first three years of his new deal, and Short will try to hit the same sort of ballpark. Chances are that Gettleman will need to franchise Short for just under $13.5 million before using his leverage to find common ground on an extension. 2. Bring back either Mario Addison or Charles Johnson at defensive end. One of the other reasons the Panthers will want to bring back Short is to provide a base for their defensive line from the interior as they rebuild on the edges. Johnson took a massive pay cut to come back to Carolina on a one-year deal but delivered only four sacks; the standout was Addison, a perpetually underrated pass-rusher who produced 9.5 sacks in 13 games. Addison sacked opposing quarterbacks once every 30.9 pass-rush attempts, the fourth-best rate in the league among players with 200 attempts in 2016. The Panthers started run-first end Wes Horton 10 times despite cutting him in September, and it's probably time for Kony Ealy's workload to grow as he enters the final year of his rookie deal, so Carolina probably wants to consider drafting a defensive end while bringing Addison or Johnson back. Of the two, Addison may be the more productive pass-rusher at this point, given that Johnson has averaged 4.5 sacks over the past three years while struggling to stay healthy. 3. Release RB Jonathan Stewart. A holdover contract from the dying days of the Marty Hurney regime, Stewart's deal has been restructured twice to create more cap space for the Panthers. He had the second-largest cap hit in football among running backs last year at $9.6 million but was essentially uncuttable because of all the restructuring; it would have cost Carolina $13.1 million in dead money to dump their longtime running back. If the Vikings cut Adrian Peterson this year, Stewart will again have the second-largest cap hit in football among running backs, this time behind LeSean McCoy. The difference is that the Panthers can either choose to pay Stewart $8.3 million to play or eat $3.5 million to move on. Given that Stewart averaged just 3.8 yards per carry last season and hasn't played a full 16-game slate since the 2011 season, it's probably time for the Panthers to cut ties and draft Stewart's long-term replacement. 4. Re-sign G Trai Turner. The strength of Carolina's offensive line is on the interior, with center Ryan Kalil lining up next to Turner at right guard. The LSU product made his second consecutive Pro Bowl in 2016, and as he enters the final season of his rookie deal with a cap hit of $824,950, the Panthers will likely be earmarking a hefty raise for the 2014 second-round pick. Turner could be looking for Kyle Long-level money in free agency (nearly $26 million over the first three years of the deal). The Panthers will hopefully then address the tackle position in the draft. 5. Make a run at WR DeSean Jackson. Ted Ginn Jr. is a free agent and still reliant almost entirely upon his speed. Betting on the wheels of a 32-year-old player seems dangerous, and it's pretty clear that Ginn isn't suddenly going to develop great hands at this point of his career. Gettleman probably wants another deep burner for Cam Newton to target as the Panthers try to rebuild their passing game. Jackson will certainly be more expensive, and he's not that much younger (30), but he would represent a hefty short-term upgrade on the perennially-frustrating Ginn. Another receiver the Panthers might target -- admittedly for entirely different reasons -- is Bills wideout Robert Woods. Carolina likes tall wideouts who are effective blockers, and the 6-foot-1 USC star is one of the best-blocking wide receivers in the game. He's worth more to the Panthers than he is to many other teams.
  10. Black & Blue Review @BlackBlueReview As RR does, he says nice things about his guys … pretty much always. So still not expecting Mike Remmers to be part of plan going forward. 1h Share on Twitter
  11. When looking over the thread about Whitworth, I noticed that @thomas96 questioned whether Getty should/would sign him (due to his age basically), so I went to research whether offensive tackles' play really does fall off. I came upon an interesting article by Devin Jordan of socalledfantasyexperts.com. Now of course as with any theories or even realities based upon stats and sound metrics, there are always exclusions to the rule, if not outright anomalies. This seems particularly true when dealing with the best of the best, and I suppose late bloomers as well. Moreover, there is chronological age, and age based upon heredity and how one's body has been treated, including workload. Lastly, some people are just that more talented than others, so their play during their decline may just be better than someone else's play that is on the rise. The article has position-specific graphs, and I feel it's certainly worth reading if you're interested in this sort of thing, but here is the overall curve at a glance. http://socalledfantasyexperts.com/aging-curve-nfl-offensive-players-every-single-position "There are many implications for this work, specifically as it relates to roster construction and the investment in speed dependent players with long-term, expensive contracts. Wide receivers, tight ends, and running backs that enter the league as 22-year-olds are almost past their peak by the time they reach free agency for the first time (first round picks are locked into their rookie deals for four or five years, while all other draft picks are tied to their rookie contracts for four years), while tackles centers, quarterbacks, and guards have yet to play their best football when they are first time free agents. The general rule for the aging curve for NFL offensive players is that speed dependent players peak earlier than speed independent players, but speed independent players age better than speed dependent players." Now, as I suggested, there are several things to consider when viewing the graph, but as a general reference it may have some merit, especially as it pertains to contracts, team building, and the way that free agency is approached. -------- Edit: Just because I know someone is wondering, I've put in the defensive graph as well, though there seems to be a little of a discrepancy between the metrics of Pro Football Reference and Pro Football Focus as explained by the author. "While the aging curve for NFL defensive players changes depending on which metric you look at, because of the more objective and robust methodology, there must be greater validity and attention given to the aging curves that have been generated based off of Pro Football Focus’ player grades. The previous article that I wrote looked at the aging curve for individual offensive players based on approximate value, and this research will eventually be redone to look at the aging curve with player grades used as the value metric. While the data is still somewhat noisy, because of the small sample of players that have publicly available player grades, we can definitively say that, as a generalization, defensive players age earlier than most would expect."
  12. Ted Ginn - WR - Panthers The Denver Post suggests the Broncos could make a run at free agent Ted Ginn. The Broncos want an upgrade on returns, and could also use Ginn as a deep threat to play alongside Demaryius Thomas and Emmanuel Sanders. From a fantasy standpoint, staying in Carolina would still be Ginn's best option. Turning 32 in April, this may be Ginn's final shot at a lucrative contract. Ginn is coming off a 54-752-4 receiving season and remains one of the NFL's fastest players. Related: Broncos Source: Denver Post
  13. I asked this question in another thread but never really received an answer to it. I was wondering that if a team that was in the playoffs had a string of injuries at a position and had to pull from free agency to fill the spot, would a player that has signed a future contract still be available by voiding the future contract or are they pretty much locked in? I know it isn't a likely scenario but curiosity has gotten the better of me. It never hurts to have a little more football knowledge lol. Well, I found my answer after doing some digging around else where and have learned a good bit about future contracts. This article was released in 2014 but covered the topic rather well. http://bleacherreport.com/articles/1947667-everything-you-need-to-know-about-nfl-futures-contracts
  14. So, there's no hope this season. It's blatantly obvious after Sunday night's fiasco. There's no way we're making the playoffs, and quite frankly it looks like we may be lucky just winning a game coming down the road. This year was different from last year in so many ways. Just imagine if only we capped off last year with a Superbowl; this year wouldn't have stung as much. But that's the reality of the situation. We got teams that are incomplete offensively or defensively coasting out on easy schedules (Dallas comes to mind) that will make the playoffs, as many claimed of us last year. I personally think when healthy we have the most complete team in the NFC with a decent healthy o-line and talent everywhere, but injuries and inept offensive coordinator Shula hindered us. So anyways, I'm always cheering for my team, even if it'd be better to lose out. If we win, great; that basically shows we have had some gas in us, and injuries have killed us a plenty this season. But don't be surprised if we only win one more game (I suspect a last year type of event of a demolishing of the Failcons, ruining their first seed to the Bucs), and looking at a top 10 pick this year. Considering that, it's basically time to talk offseason in December (painful to say, but it's true.) Before talking about that, let's consider what exactly our positions of greatest need are: -Safety -Offensive Tackle (Especially if Oher isn't back) -Running Back Depth (preferably someone who can block behind Stewart) -Consistent Defensive End -A WR that can get separation -A solid blocking 2nd TE Personally, I feel these positions are our greatest positions of need. In fact, some of these are stretches, considering we'd have a decent group in most of these categories with starters, though granted top 2 shows some obvious holes. Safety is the one that has given up a lot of yards for the secondary more than our corners by far. We need a consistent leader that can play SS, since Kurt isn't good enough for it. We need a playmaker, a leader, and someone who can communicate; a Roman Harper type of player without his sluggish play. Our offensive tackle depth got exposed this season, and one could say we need at least 1 backup quality tackle for every position. I feel we need a quality depth type of player for LT, since Remmers is about as much of a turnstile as one can be at left tackle. If Oher isn't back, this position is exposed even more, and we may need to consider using draft picks and getting free agents to find a rough in the gem type of player. Stewart is a great guy, but he's injury prone. He's also lost a bit of steam in him this year, though granted our oline isn't helping any bit. He's our only solid blocking RB, and we desperately need depth behind him. As much flashes as CAP has shown running, he's shown nothing in the blocking game. We should consider looking for our RB of the future now, and that's why it's ranked so high as a position of need. Everything really is just depth at most, and a WR solid route runner is also a pretty big stretch. But these are our glaring needs, and they should be addressed accordingly. Gettleman is well known as someone who likes skimming FA for the bargain gems, which he excels at. However, he hasn't proven himself as to someone who dives for some big, good names. Most of his time, however, he had the CAP that Hurney left over to worry about and fix up, so that proved to be an issue. But this season, he's got an abundance, projected about $62,843,461 in cap space. That's a lot of money, something Gettleman hasn't had in a while. Now granted, we have a lot of free agents next year, but we would still have a lot left over. This offseason, IMO, will define Gettleman as either a cheap, polar opposite of Hurney, or a real, intelligent GM. He's got a lot of cap space that could be worked and help sign some key free agents now, and keep enough to sign 2018 players. If he doesn't take advantage, then I say I may even start questioning what he's doing exactly, and I'm sure @CPantherKing would definitely say I'm a Gettleman supporter/nuthugger. That says a lot about what this offseason really means. Now, if I were GM of the Panthers, here's what I'd do, Free Agency and the Draft: (Sites Used: https://walterfootball.com/draft2017TE.php , http://overthecap.com/free-agency/, http://www.spotrac.com/nfl/carolina-panthers/cap/2017/) Staff: 1. Fire Shula 2. Fire Shula 3. Fire Shula 4. Fire Shula 5. Fire Shula 'Nuff said. Free Agency: Panther Resigning/Cuts 1. Cut Tolbert Tolbert has been deadweight this season. He should never have gotten an extension, and retired in peace. However, that's obviously not the case, and he's costing us. Tolbert used to be amazing. He used to be this unstoppable bowling ball, the tolldozer, and leave defenders withering under his impressive strength and hard running. Now, he's just a tub of lard and useless fat. He's not his old self, and that has been the way for a while. He really fell off a cliff in the Superbowl, fumbling that ball at a crucial moment. I can't think of any positive play from Tolbert this year in all honesty, and that's saying a lot. He's done; he's got no more gas in the tank. Recently, his most memorable moments have been botched blocks, the scared-to-get-hit "dance" Tolbert put on in Oakland, and the "Oh crap I'm so fat" butterfinger fumble to start off in Seattle. Cut him, get that $1.5 million in cap savings, and use it for useful things. 2. Resign DT Kawann Short for $12 million tops; Avoid Cox Money Or Overpaying Short bet on himself this year, and failed to replicate his 2015 breakout performance. He's come on decently as of late after the bye, but other than that he's just not his monstrous self this year. He's still good, and has a lot of potential to replicate his 2015 success next year, but he already shows to not be on Cox level elite. He's good, but he's just not going to get that monstrous contract he wants. I'd attempt to give him a generous $12 million deal, or maybe $13 tops, but try not to tag him. He isn't worth the money he wanted last year, and it shows in his numbers, but he's still a DT we need to try and keep. Try and resign Short due to his integral role, but avoid overpaying. 3. Resign DE Charles Johnson on a $6-7 million dollar per year deal, and Addison $5 million. Try and get Charles Johnson market value for what he got last year the best you can. He's more than proven his worth at this point, and he's been instrumental with his sudden reemergence as of late. However, considering the lack of DEs on the market this year, he may be a tough case with teams desperate for looking for Charles Johnson has reemerged after the bye, when the coaching staff realized that the D-line needed a new rotational change. Addison has proven more than capable of emerging as a fantastic situational pass rushing threat. They both need to be resigned for good deals and kept through any means possible. They're a consistent good threat still, and any continuity in our pressure we're getting from our ends is needed. 4. Resign Norwell, Ginn, Work a deal with Lotulelei, get depth players signed for around $20 million tops (all these players combined). This is self explanatory. Get the other key guys signed, get Star on a good deal, and make sure they're not going anywhere. This is achievable. Theoretically, this will go for a price tag of $40.5 million in signing our players alone max, based on salary averages. This accounts for the cap Tolbert would bring if cut, and doesn't include any other depth player being released, or any other cuts. Soliai might be another option as well honestly to get the axe, but I won't add that just yet. That leaves us with about $22.3 million in cap left for free agency. Sure is quite a lot lower after signing our own players, but that's still some cash we could work with. Now, what to do about actual free agency? Well, here we go: 1. Do WHATEVER IT TAKES to sign S Eric Berry - Up to $11.5 million honestly. This right here is important. Harrison Smith was paid $10.25 mil per year last offseason, and that pretty much set the bar for this safety-depleted 2017 FA class. I don't care if you want to try and save every penny, give him whatever it takes to bait him into Carolina. If he hits the free agency market, I'd dare even pay him up to $11.5 per year just because of the impact he'd have on this safety-deprived team. He's been the key to KC's success, and there's no way they'd be able to get him back at this rate. Pay the man; get him connected to Cam again, and we're definitely Superbowl bound with this signing. That's the only big splash I'd make honestly, and that immediately patches up a huuge position of need. Gettleman needs to see this, and I hope he does. That leaves us with about 10.8 million in cap, but likely we'd have around $14-15 million if we had extra cuts and management as well. I'd then see if I can get Matt Kalil for a good deal off of free agency, and hope Oher is back in full health by then. I'd then find some cheap diamond in the rough players to round out some positions. Make sure we have enough cap for the draft, and just coast and ride. Now, what about the draft you might ask? Well, let's see our positions of need: -Safety Eric Berry Takes Care of This -Offensive Tackle (Especially if Oher isn't back) Matt Kalil gives good depth, and project material -Running Back Depth (preferably someone who can block behind Stewart) -Consistent Defensive End -A WR that can get separation -A solid blocking 2nd TE So, considering these needs/luxuries, let's see what I'd do in the draft for the first 2 rounds: Round 1: Top 5 pick: DE Myles Garrett Pray and Hope DE Myles Garrett Falls To Us if we have this high a pick. Browns already got some decent DEs last year, and many mocks are predicting they get a DT. Jets and 49ers need a QB. The only real threat is the Jaguars, and possibly Bengals, but they could win out some of their games and we get lucky. Pipe dream, I know, but if this happens then the NFL better watch out. Anyhow, here's a more logical idea of what could happen: Top 10 Pick: Round 1 *Option 1 represents one route (i.e. If x player is picked in round 1 for option 1, then round 2 option 1 would be a player that is picked because round 1 option 1 player was picked, and same for option 2) Option 1: RB Leonard Fournette Obvious reasons. He's the most consistent back so far in College, and he's been a monster. He's getting AP comparisons, and rightfully so. He's going to be a beast in the NFL, and a complete RB to complement an aging Stewart will help a lot, especially with Tolbert gone. He's shown ability to run over defenders, find holes, and take advantage. He's also a decent receiving back, and he's got a ton of skillset. If he can make the impact Elliott has had to our run game, well the NFL better watch out. Option 2: DE Derek Barnett The Panthers desperately need a good, consistent DE on the defensive side. Bennett would help alleviate a position in need of an every down type of player. Bennett has shown to be competent and do great things against top tier college olines, and is a great player from Tennessee. He's beat LTs from Bama and gotten strip sacks and makes plays. This would help alleviate our DEs and make us not have a reason to keep Delaire on the team anymore. He's a bit raw in some areas, needs to learn some pass rushing moves and spins, but he's still a good, competent player. Round 2: Option 1: TE Jordan Leggett He's been a solid TE at Clemson. He's been great at blocking and receiving when necessary. He's likely to be available in the second round, and I wouldn't mind pulling the trigger on him this early. What makes him stand out from other TEs ranked above him like Engram and Njoku in my opinion is his solid blocking ability. We don't need a catching TE who can't block; I'd rather have a solid blocking TE that couldn't catch honestly. I think Leggett will make a great prospect, and 2nd round pick with a lot of upside, with immediate impact potential. Option 2: RB D'Onta Foreman (applies also if we somehow get DE Myles Garrett) Just be glad this draft is deep with RBs D'Onta Foreman is a talent that is worth consideration at this late in the round. He's a Stewart type of back, but fresher and much more upside. A powerback, he looks a lot like Stewart, and he's good at running over defenders. He can hit holes, and looks like a good talent. As a second round pick, I'd definitely consider snagging this gem. As for the rest of the draft, I'd get a project OT, maybe a future C, and then fill up depth in S, and other positions. If this were to happen, I'd be happy. I think these picks would be great, and help better the Panthers. -
  15. I guess the relevance is a stretch, but personally enjoy these threads for those watching the game. Can Eric Berry make his case known he's one to watch for, after basically elevating his status this year after being tagged this year? Effectively, one should consider exactly how much Cap Kansas City has, at around $4.2 million as of right now. http://www.spotrac.com/nfl/cap/2017/ Not exactly the best place to be in, with Dontari and Eric Berry being FAs soon. Anyhow intriguing game. Hopefully a decent watch.
  16. Player (14) Pos. Age From To 2016 AAV Status Market Value JohnsonCharles Johnson DE 30 CAR TBD $3,000,000 UFA Market Value RemmersMike Remmers RT 27 CAR TBD $2,553,000 UFA 0- Ginn Jr.Ted Ginn Jr. WR 31 CAR TBD $2,100,000 UFA 0- AddisonMario Addison DE 29 CAR TBD $1,280,000 UFA 0- ShortKawann Short DT 27 CAR TBD $1,157,584 UFA Market Value JonesColin Jones FS 29 CAR TBD $927,500 UFA 0- WilliamsTeddy Williams CB 28 CAR TBD $900,000 UFA 0- GriffinMichael Griffin FS 31 CAR TBD $885,000 UFA 0- ScottChris Scott G 29 CAR TBD $840,000 UFA 0- LoveKyle Love DT 30 CAR TBD $760,000 UFA 0- JohnsonLeonard Johnson CB 26 CAR TBD $760,000 UFA 0- McClainRobert McClain CB 28 CAR TBD $752,500 UFA 0- BersinBrenton Bersin WR 26 CAR TBD $600,000 UFA 0- KleinA.J. Klein ILB 25 CAR TBD $587,825 UFA 0-
  17. Player (14) Pos. Age From To 2016 AAV Status Market Value JohnsonCharles Johnson DE 30 CAR TBD $3,000,000 UFA Market Value RemmersMike Remmers RT 27 CAR TBD $2,553,000 UFA 0- Ginn Jr.Ted Ginn Jr. WR 31 CAR TBD $2,100,000 UFA 0- AddisonMario Addison DE 29 CAR TBD $1,280,000 UFA 0- ShortKawann Short DT 27 CAR TBD $1,157,584 UFA Market Value JonesColin Jones FS 29 CAR TBD $927,500 UFA 0- WilliamsTeddy Williams CB 28 CAR TBD $900,000 UFA 0- GriffinMichael Griffin FS 31 CAR TBD $885,000 UFA 0- ScottChris Scott G 29 CAR TBD $840,000 UFA 0- LoveKyle Love DT 30 CAR TBD $760,000 UFA 0- JohnsonLeonard Johnson CB 26 CAR TBD $760,000 UFA 0- McClainRobert McClain CB 28 CAR TBD $752,500 UFA 0- BersinBrenton Bersin WR 26 CAR TBD $600,000 UFA 0- KleinA.J. Klein ILB 25 CAR TBD $587,825 UFA 0-
  18. One of the few moves the Hornets will be making in free agency is whether or not to re-sign 22 year old big man Bismack Biyombo. After playing out all 4 years of his rookie scale contract, the team now has to make a decision on whether or not to extend the qualifying offer to Biyombo. For those unfamiliar with the way the rookie contract system works in the NBA, every rookie first round pick (Biyombo was pick 7 in 2011) drafted that comes over immediately is given a two year contract, with two team options for years three and four. After the rookie deal is played out, the team can extend the qualifying offer to the player, making him a restricted free agent. The player and team then have several options on where to go from there: The player can choose to simply play out the QO, becoming an unrestricted free agent the next offseason (The only player to ever decline offers and do this is Greg Monroe)The team can offer the player a new contract which, if accepted, starts immediatelyThe player can accept another team's offer, giving the original team (Hornets in this case) 3 days to decide whether or not they wish to match the contract Bismack Biyombo came into the league as an incredibly raw prospect, playing basketball for a very short amount of time before becoming an NBA player. Draft Express said in an article written on Biyombo pre-draft: Knowing he would be a project when he was drafted with the 7th pick in the 2011 draft, the Hornets pulled the trigger on him anyway. After two seasons of starting and being the main center for the Charlotte Bobcats, the organization decided to sign free agent center Al Jefferson to a contract, making Biyombo the backup big man on a better team. The last two seasons Biyombo has been used as the backup center, and has done largely the same statistically as his two years starting, even with less minutes. Biyombo even started 21 games this past season when Jefferson went down with a calf injury. The team did not suffer a drop off, and actually went 11-10 with him in the starting lineup. Bismack Biyombo is a defensive presence that is very good at protecting the rim. Biyombo averaged 2.9 block per 36 minutes last season, and has averaged 2.7 blocks per 36 minutes for his career through four years. In comparison to the other perceived great rim protectors in the NBA: Tyson Chandler through four years: 2.2 blocks per 36DeAndre Jordan through four years: 2.5 blocks per 36Anthony Davis through three years: 2.7 block per 36Serge Ibaka through four years: 3.5 blocks per 36As you can see Biyombo is in some fine company as far as blocking shots goes. In fact, of players playing over 1000 minutes last season, Bismack Biyombo ranked 4th in blocks per 36 minutes. Biyombo is quite obviously an elite shot blocker at the NBA level already, which is very impressive considering the fact that he is 6'8". Another part of the game where Bismack Biyombo shines is in his rebounding prowess. Biyombo averaged 11.8 rebounds per 36 minutes last season, and has averaged 10.4 rebounds per 36 minutes on his career. Again, lets compare that to four of the perceived nest rebounders in the NBA through their first four seasons: Kevin Garnett through four years: 8.5 rebounds per 36DeAndre Jordan through four years: 10.8 rebounds per 36Dwight Howard through four years: 12.2 rebounds per 36Andre Drummond through three years: 14.9 rebounds per 36Again, it's pretty apparent that Biyombo is a very good rebounder. I wouldn't classify him as elite, but he very good at rebounding. So, despite Biyombo's many offensive flaws (he can hardly catch a basketball), I believe the front office should extend at the very least the qualifying offer to Biyombo. Biyombo's qualifying offer is $5,479,933. For a team that's over the cap and not in a position to offer anymore than the MLE and bi-annual exception to free agents, there is no reason Biyombo shouldn't receive it. With the acquisition of Spencer Hawes in the earlier trade with the Clippers, and the drafting of Frank Kaminsky, the Hornets do have a frontcourt logjam at the moment. But Biyombo provides defense and rebounding that no one else on this team can provide. Couple that with the fact that $5 million will be nothing with the cap going up and the Hornets organization would be making a mistake letting this promising big man go just because he is offensively limited. He has an elite skill, and that alone makes him valuable. Note: All stats used in this post are from basketball reference This is the first blog post like this I've done. Please do provide feedback on this, positive or negative. I hope to provide a few more of these, including a cap breakdown when free agency starts. Follow me on twitter.
  19. This week on the Huddle Podcast we are joined by Carolina Panthers writer Max Henson to discuss free agency and more. Really great insight from Max on Dave Gettleman. Definitely worth a listen. Over an hour of Panthers chatter. Direct MP3 Link Subscribe via iTunes
  20. According to Ian Rapoport, NFL wide receivers Jeremy Maclin and Randall Cobb will not be franchised by their respective teams. Panthers fans have targeted both receivers as possible additions in Carolina, but that outcome appears to be highly unlikely. Jeremy Maclin and the Philadelphia Eagles continue to work on a deal. Neither party appear to be interested in parting ways. Randall Cobb will probably not play for the Green Bay Packers next year, but as a top dollar free agent prospect he falls out of the Dave Gettleman budget. I'll spare you the "Tiffanys" label. Don't expect either of these players to be in Carolina this season.
  21. As we sit in mid February, otherwise known as NFL no man's land, I thought it might be useful to take a look ahead to March and see what we can expect from Dave Gettleman. I think the best way to do that would be to take a look at the transactions from his two past seasons for the month of March, and in particular the free agent signings. 2013 March 27, 2013 Re-signed DT Dwan Edwards. March 21, 2013 Re-signed CB Captain Munnerlyn to a one-year contract. Signed S Mike Mitchell to a one-year contract. March 19, 2013 Signed CB D.J. Moore. March 9, 2013 Released CB Chris Gamble. March 1, 2013 Released DT Ron Edwards. 2014 March 20, 2014 Signed WR Jerricho Cotchery to a two-year contract. March 18, 2014 Signed S Roman Harper to a two-year contract. March 18, 2014 Re-signed LB Jason Williams and CB James Dockery. March 18, 2014 Signed TE Mike McNeill to a two-year contract. March 13, 2014 Released WR Steve Smith. March 10, 2014 Re-signed FB Richie Brockel to a two-year contract Re-signed OL Garry Williams to a one-year contract. In both years, notice there are no signings during the first week of free agency. While many other teams are agreeing to terms and signing with free agents during the first week of free agency, the Panthers sit and wait. Mainly due to the lack of available funds to pay salary, but also partly due to Gettleman not wanting to over spend for marginal players. Notice in each year there was a significant free agency signing around the 20th of March (both at safety coincidentally). 10 days after the players became available, gauged interest, and let the dust settle. Even though the Panthers have a little more purse this offseason, I expect this pattern will continue. I don't expect the Panthers to make a significant free agent signing right away, as much as Panthers fans would love it. Instead, look for them to watch as other teams overpay. Instead, they will again sit back and wait for a bargain for an experience veteran at a position of need.
  22. Dallas is in quite a conundrum this off season. They are in the rare position of having two starting caliber right tackles on the team, but both will be free agents come March 10. Doug Free was the starter most of the 2014 season with the Cowboys until a foot injury sidelined him. Then, Jermey Parnell stepped in and played just as well as Free, including starting the two playoff games. It is doubtful that Dallas will sign both players, as both know now that they are starters in the NFL. So one of these guys will be available. Most agree Free is the better player, but not by much. Parnell is 3 years younger, the Cowboys may go with youth. The Panthers look like they have a solid player in Mike Remmers, but there is no depth at tackle on the squad. The idea of bringing in another right tackle to compete, or possibly even toying with either at left tackle may be enticing to Dave Gettleman.
  23. Dallas is in quite a conundrum this off season. They are in the rare position of having two starting caliber right tackles on the team, but both will be free agents come March 10. Doug Free was the starter most of the 2014 season with the Cowboys until a foot injury sidelined him. Then, Jermey Parnell stepped in and played just as well as Free, including starting the two playoff games. It is doubtful that Dallas will sign both players, as both know now that they are starters in the NFL. So one of these guys will be available. Most agree Free is the better player, but not by much. Parnell is 3 years younger, the Cowboys may go with youth. The Panthers look like they have a solid player in Mike Remmers, but there is no depth at tackle on the squad. The idea of bringing in another right tackle to compete, or possibly even toying with either at left tackle may be enticing to Dave Gettleman.
  24. With the next significant NFL date being the start of Free Agency on March 10, I thought I would take a look at the NFC South and see what teams are dealing with. Carolina has the fewest amount of Unrestricted Free Agents in the NFC South at 11. The Atlanta Falcons have the most at a whopping 19. I am not sure if this is a good thing or a bad thing for their new coaching staff. It may help a great deal in molding the team they want. Here are the Unrestricted Free Agents by team... Atlanta Falcons - 19 UFA Osi Umenyiora Sean Weatherspoon Kroy Biermann Matt Bryant Jacquizz Rodgers Corey Peters Robert McClain Gabe Carimi Antone Smith Mike Johnson Cliff Matthews T.J. Yates Josh Wilson Javier Arenas Dwight Lowery Eric Weems Bear Pascoe Charles Godfrey Jonathan Scott Carolina Panthers - 11 UFA Greg Hardy Byron Bell Dwan Edwards Colin Cole Chase Blackburn Joe Webb Ed Dickson Kevin Matthews Garry Williams James Dockery Chris Scott New Orleans Saints - 13 UFA Patrick Robinson Mark Ingram Luke McCown Ramon Humber Parys Haralson Jonathan Goodwin Cheta Ozougwu Robert Meachem Shayne Graham Brandon Deaderick Jamarca Sanford Moise Fokou Greg Romeus Tampa Bay - 12 UFA Adrian Clayborn Mike Jenkins Mason Foster Dane Fletcher Da'Quan Bowers Luke Stocker Oniel Cousins Major Wright Larry English Jason Williams Lawrence Sidbury Greg Ellingson info provided by sport trac
  25. The Carolina Panthers have two veteran defensive tackles that are unrestricted free agents this offseason, Colin Cole and Dwan Edwards. Colin Cole first came to the Panthers as a run defense specialist in 2013. Since then he has carved out a spot on the Panthers roster as a defensive tackle to spell Star Lotulelei. Cole the type of low budget rotational player that is key to the long term success of the Panthers. Cole has always had consistent play for the Panthers. Not great, not bad, but good enough to stop the run when asked to fill in. Typically he gets somewhere between 20-30 snaps a game. Cole is now 34 years old. Dwan Edwards is also available for other teams to sign. Edwards is 33 years old and gets somewhere between 30-40 snaps a game. Edwards made a little over 2 million last year. The Panthers need to keep one of these players on the roster. They can't afford to lose quality depth at defensive tackle. GM Dave Gettleman always says you have to first stop the run to be able to get to the QB. Having two inexperienced guys back up Star and Short would not be ideal. In a perfect world, the Panthers could keep both of these players as both have performed well in the past. But realistically, there may be up to 10 rookies this season looking for roster spots, and I believe at least one will be defensive tackle. It may come down to which player is willing to accept a modest salary on a one year contract with the Panthers. Cole won't be sought after elsewhere, and Edwards may not be as well. Defensive tackles in the twilight of their careers aren't exactly a hot commodity in the NFL. Last year, Cole re-signed with the Panthers in April after being on the market for over a month. The demand just isn't there. If I had to make a guess, I would say that Dwan Edwards re-signs with the Panthers for around a million dollars on a one year contract and Cole retires.