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Going "Young"

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Longtime football watchers would tell you that "going young" is something that usually happens when a team is in "rebuilding" mode. Indeed, there are some who have applied that idea to the Panthers.

Such a notion, however, would be mistaken.

A coach who is in a do-or-die season can't afford to commit to a rebuilding program. Fox needs to win this season to either earn an extension or get a job as a head coach elsewhere. "Preparing for the next coach" some say. Not likely. No coach is going to lay the foundation for his successor at the cost of his own job.

Conspiracy theorists say Jerry Richardson is trying to tank the season so that Fox will be forced to leave. Again, unlikely. Richardson had the chance to let Fox go, and didn't, choosing instead to give him a year to prove himself. Tanking the team's season just to get rid of a coach who you could have gotten rid of more easily by other means sounds like a page out of the playbook of a goofy "Dr Evil" type villain.

Forget the wild theories and just take it at face value. The team is dumping big contracts and older players. I've said before that the team had made some poor choices when it picked some of the "building blocks" before. They may now agree, and the uncapped year is a prime opportunity to fix those old mistakes. In my opinion, that's exactly what they're doing.

To be clear though, that does not mean they're giving up on this season.

Teams have gone to Super Bowls with young rosters before (Cowboys of the 90s, for example, were one of the younger teams in the league). Throw in that the front office last year assembled a defensive coaching staff that was known primarily for teaching young players. It's entirely possible the "youth movement" had already begun last year, but couldn't be fully consummated until this season due to cap restrictions.

With that said, I don't expect the team to go completely young.

No, they aren't diving into the free agent market early (which should be no surprise since they rarely do) but the latter half of the offseason is a time when a fair number of veteran players wind up looking for jobs. As often as not, those guys come for cheap salaries.

They also could get guys like Tyler Brayton, Richard Marshall and Josh McCown back if no one else signs them (and so far, no one has). Brayton was made an offer, Marshall has an RFA tender and McCown is talked about as a "fall back plan". Obviously, all these guys are under consideration.

Beyond that, the Panthers won't want to be completely devoid of veteran leadership on the field. With that in mind, look for them to be more active in the "bargain" period of free agency. Also, per their usual MO, look for them to shop primarily for mid-level vets and role players rather than "name" guys.

While you're at it, don't make the mistake of thinking that the team doesn't care about winning just because they don't go after this guy or that guy. Winning is always the ultimate goal, but owners, coaches and GMs don't always follow the same thinking as fans when it comes to how to accomplish that goal.

If the much-discussed lockout doesn't happen, the Panthers will be in a prime position moving forward. They'll be a young team with salary cap room to spare. That's a good spot for a returning coach to continue with, or an attractive spot for a young coach who's ready to put his stamp on his first head coaching job.

It all depends on what happens this year.

Mr Scott.....you stated that Brayton had received an offer. Do you have any more details on that...who, how much? I was searching the itnernet and was unable to find anything.

Thanks

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Posted · Report post

That is exactly the point...there are no decent FA's out there. Therfore, we sit a nd wait.

We were not going to over-pay for mediocre players.

The mid level FA's will be released after the draft to make room for the draft picks.

Early in Free Agency, you have:

1. A few big name players

2. Alot of bad and aging players that were cut early on

3. Some solid players in a typical year. However, with no CBA, all of the FA's that were set to hit the market after 4 yrs of svc immediately became RFA.

Therefore, this early FA class is very weak. That means that teams will overpay to get the best of a mediocre group. The rest out there is camp fodder.

We will sign vets that are released after the draft.

this still paints us into a corner. we know 1 pick will have to be a wr. that leaves 4 picks for defense. maybe even one for backup qb. we will need a de. one dt at least. the rest will have to be fa's. dont forget there will be competition for the fa's unlike in the draft. drafting for immediate need is risky.

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There's a reason some of the big names in the league are out there right now as Free Agents -- their prior teams found out that these guys weren't what the teams needed to win.

The secret is that the really important pieces of a team's puzzle don't make it out onto the market. Think Tom Brady, Peyton Manning, Drew Brees or Adrian Peterson are going to be allowed to test the waters by their current teams? There are four players that could bring wins to even the lowliest of teams, but they aren't getting cut.

Who hits the free agent market generally? Folks on the downslope, trouble makers, marginal athletes and supposed stars that didn't reach their potential. Basically, players that their coaches/GMs decided weren't worth the amount printed on their price tags.

Sometimes one of those folks finds a new home and a new lease on life. The Panthers are famous for that: Stephen Davis, Jake Delhomme, Kevin Greene, Reggie White, Tyler Brayton, etc... Finding those guys, however, ain't easy and sometimes you end up with a David Carr instead of a Brett Favre.

We aren't rushing into this or chasing big names, and that's traditional for this team. We've shed folks that will be hot on the marketplace (sure, Pep went fast, but so did Jake and Rhys) and we've stayed out of the chase for LT and TO, etc.

We'll be okay come opening day and have 53 good people on the roster. I have faith that we'll be competitive, but heck, I'd tune in to watch even if I didn't.

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There's a reason some of the big names in the league are out there right now as Free Agents -- their prior teams found out that these guys weren't what the teams needed to win.

The secret is that the really important pieces of a team's puzzle don't make it out onto the market. Think Tom Brady, Peyton Manning, Drew Brees or Adrian Peterson are going to be allowed to test the waters by their current teams? There are four players that could bring wins to even the lowliest of teams, but they aren't getting cut.

Who hits the free agent market generally? Folks on the downslope, trouble makers, marginal athletes and supposed stars that didn't reach their potential. Basically, players that their coaches/GMs decided weren't worth the amount printed on their price tags.

Sometimes one of those folks finds a new home and a new lease on life. The Panthers are famous for that: Stephen Davis, Jake Delhomme, Kevin Greene, Reggie White, Tyler Brayton, etc... Finding those guys, however, ain't easy and sometimes you end up with a David Carr instead of a Brett Favre.

We aren't rushing into this or chasing big names, and that's traditional for this team. We've shed folks that will be hot on the marketplace (sure, Pep went fast, but so did Jake and Rhys) and we've stayed out of the chase for LT and TO, etc.

We'll be okay come opening day and have 53 good people on the roster. I have faith that we'll be competitive, but heck, I'd tune in to watch even if I didn't.

john fox teams are always competitive. that is the nature of his philosophy,it keeps us in games. now winning consistently is another thing. :D

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this still paints us into a corner. we know 1 pick will have to be a wr. that leaves 4 picks for defense. maybe even one for backup qb. we will need a de. one dt at least. the rest will have to be fa's. dont forget there will be competition for the fa's unlike in the draft. drafting for immediate need is risky.

We have always had success in the latter stages of FA...with the mid-tier guys.

When we jumped feet first and signed big name guys, we typically failed.

I am not sure why the current FA strategy is surprising anyone.

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There's a reason some of the big names in the league are out there right now as Free Agents -- their prior teams found out that these guys weren't what the teams needed to win.

The secret is that the really important pieces of a team's puzzle don't make it out onto the market. Think Tom Brady, Peyton Manning, Drew Brees or Adrian Peterson are going to be allowed to test the waters by their current teams? There are four players that could bring wins to even the lowliest of teams, but they aren't getting cut.

Who hits the free agent market generally? Folks on the downslope, trouble makers, marginal athletes and supposed stars that didn't reach their potential. Basically, players that their coaches/GMs decided weren't worth the amount printed on their price tags.

Sometimes one of those folks finds a new home and a new lease on life. The Panthers are famous for that: Stephen Davis, Jake Delhomme, Kevin Greene, Reggie White, Tyler Brayton, etc... Finding those guys, however, ain't easy and sometimes you end up with a David Carr instead of a Brett Favre.

We aren't rushing into this or chasing big names, and that's traditional for this team. We've shed folks that will be hot on the marketplace (sure, Pep went fast, but so did Jake and Rhys) and we've stayed out of the chase for LT and TO, etc.

We'll be okay come opening day and have 53 good people on the roster. I have faith that we'll be competitive, but heck, I'd tune in to watch even if I didn't.

I agree with you up about free agents most have something wrong with them or just are overpriced for that team due to cap considerations but from a strictly salary point of view are cheaper for someone else to pick up. But with the shortage of UFAs and high tenders being given to a bunch of RFAs, the market is slim. Plus without a bunch of draft picks to trade we won't be making very many trades. With only 5 draft picks we can't expect that to save us either.

I am not convinced we will have 53 good people on our roster. We might have 40 good people, 7 okay folks, and another 6 "who knows" folks. It is a good time to a UDFA for us this year. Several guys who would normally be cut will end up on the active roster and practice squads.

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We have always had success in the latter stages of FA...with the mid-tier guys.

When we jumped feet first and signed big name guys, we typically failed.

I am not sure why the current FA strategy is surprising anyone.

not suprised but with all the depth lost we are going to have to do a lot of filling in and that is never a good sign.

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I agree with you up about free agents most have something wrong with them or just are overpriced for that team due to cap considerations but from a strictly salary point of view are cheaper for someone else to pick up. But with the shortage of UFAs and high tenders being given to a bunch of RFAs, the market is slim. Plus without a bunch of draft picks to trade we won't be making very many trades. With only 5 draft picks we can't expect that to save us either.

I am not convinced we will have 53 good people on our roster. We might have 40 good people, 7 okay folks, and another 6 "who knows" folks. It is a good time to a UDFA for us this year. Several guys who would normally be cut will end up on the active roster and practice squads.

this is another concern. will we just keep people we shouldnt because they are cheap or will we go with better talent if it cost a bit more?

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Mr Scott.....you stated that Brayton had received an offer. Do you have any more details on that...who, how much? I was searching the itnernet and was unable to find anything.

Thanks

I don't know if the specifics were printed. If I recall either Gantt or Chandler (hard to tell them apart these days :lol: ) said we had made him an offer but he decided to test free agency instead.

Kinda disappointing after hearing him say how much he wanted to be here, but in the end it is still a business.

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I am not sure that it is a good time to be a FA.

There are a lot of aging veterans still on the market. Teams are not biting on them.

Also, some are accepting non-guaranteed contracts (Kemo).

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this is another concern. will we just keep people we shouldnt because they are cheap or will we go with better talent if it cost a bit more?

Understand your point. But, that is where I think we differ in our opinion.

I do not think we let better talent go.

I still think Irvin, Leonard, and Tyler are just as good as Kemo and Lewis.

I still think that Connor and Anderson are better than Diggs

I still think we either re-sign Brayton or get a comparable DE for rotation

The only one I question as far as talent and play iw Hoover. Fiametta shoudl be good, but he has not proven anything yet. This one is a big gamble.

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I don't know if the specifics were printed. If I recall either Gantt or Chandler (hard to tell them apart these days :lol: ) said we had made him an offer but he decided to test free agency instead.

Kinda disappointing after hearing him say how much he wanted to be here, but in the end it is still a business.

Got it. I thought you meant that another team had made him an offer. I knew we tried to sign him before FA.

Given how quiet it is, I still think re-signing him is a real possibility...and a good idea.

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