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.