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Samuel L. Jackson

With a lockout looming and an 0-5 record, it is time to truly start rebuilding...

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Let me preface this by saying that Julius Peppers, Steve Smith, DeAngelo Williams, and Jon Beason are near the top of my list of all-time favorite Panthers...

That is for their contributions in the past, and the impact to the rest of the players around them that they offered...

The whole Peppers situation last year should have taught us all as fans several things, including that you don't force an unhappy player to hang around where he is unwanted and underutilized, nor do you let your star players simply walk away from all they are worth without getting something in return...

As of right now, the Panthers are steamrolling into a lockout year short 2 of their normal draft picks thanks to Armanti Edwards and J.J. Jansen (yes, we traded a pick for a long snapper!), and with a lot of their core players facing pending free agency...

Among the scheduled free agents in 2011, you have to begin with DeAngelo, Thomas Davis, and Ryan Kalil...

Williams is in the most unique situation, in that he is basically in the prime of his career with fresh legs (thanks in part to Jonathan Stewart)... He is stuck on a losing team (one way to look at it) and might be seeing greener pastures... As of right now, we could likely get a first round pick for Williams from the right team... I'm not saying I want that, but it might be best for us in the long run... Williams will be approaching 30 once football returns after a lockout in 2011, and we aren't able to use him effectively right now because of the team around him... Stockpiling 2011 and 2012 draft picks, especially when it is looking more and more like a 2011 season won't happen is a smart thing for a rebuilding team...

Kalil is an outstanding center on a line that is currently playing well below average... I hope he can be re-signed, as centers don't carry as much trade value (although it appears long snappers do.............)... With he, Gross, and Wharton under contract for a couple years, we could build the rest of the line around them...

Davis is currently looking on from the sideline because of injury, but hopefully he can return to the field by season's end... I think we will push to get him back in the fold, especially because he is coming off an injury and will be approaching 30 come 2012...

After those guys, you have the tier of Matt Moore, Jeff King, Dante Rosario, Charles Johnson, Ed Johnson, Derek Landri, Nick Hayden, James Anderson, Richard Marshall, and Rhys Lloyd... These are average to above average guys that are playing at or above the level expected of them... Of that group, I would hope we could retain most of them, but it wouldn't hurt my feelings right now if Moore, King, Hayden, Anderson, or Marshall were casualties of free agency... Anderson has stepped it up a little, and maybe too much for our checkbook... Marshall isn't happy, and is, at best, an average CB...

Further down in the roster, you have guys that will likely be gone, especially if/when a new regime comes in... Charly Martin, Jamar Williams, Jordan Senn, C.J. Wilson, Marcus Hudson, and J. J. Jansen...

Others that I am not sure of their contract length/status include: Tony Pike (I assume it was a 3 or 4 year deal), David Clowney (assuming 1 year), Geoff Schwartz (no idea, but too long the way he is playing), Tim Duckworth (don't know and don't care), Chris Morris (who?), and Nic Harris... All will likely be gone in a regime change/rebuild, aside from maybe Clowney and Pike...

Now, that is all only next offseason, and there are a lot of names up there... Even if there is football in 2011, we could still see a lot of turnover from this year's team (if that is what you want to call what we have been fielding) even... In 2012, these players are also scheduled to have contracts expire:

Tyrelll Sutton

Wallace Wright

Gary Barnidge

Garry Williams

Mackenzie Bernadeau

Hilee Taylor

Charles Godfrey

The good news is that none of those guys are huge losses, aside from maybe Godfrey... Sutton also holds some value to the Panthers, as do Wright, Barnidge, and Bernadeau, so those guys may get new deals going into 2012...

In 2012, Steve Smith will be going into a contract year and will be 32 years old... His talent has been wasted here the past couple years, and his body is slowly breaking down... If we were to continue our rebuilding process and give him the chance to go out with bang for his career, it would be in both of our best interests to move on now instead of later... Yes, we should trade Steve Smith, and we should be able to at least get a second round pick for him... He is equally as dangerous as Randy Moss, and younger... Yes, it is the equivalent of trading him for Armanti Edwards, but you will also be making breathing room for the young guys we have already invested in...

So, as it stands, and if we truly want to reboot our franchise, I am saying the time is now to trade DWill and Smitty... It will break my heart like us letting Pep walk did, but it will be the best thing for us in the long run...

Hopefully too, in next year's draft we will have 3 compensatory picks coming our way thanks to Peppers (probably a 3rd rounder), Keydrick Vincent (maybe a 6th), and possibly an extra 7th for either A.J. Feeley or Wesley...

Say we do ship Williams and Smitty out (not likely, just speculating)... our draft picks would likely look like this next year:

1a (probably a top 5 pick at this point based on our record)

1b (DWill trade)

2 (Smith trade)


3b (Comp for Pep)




6b (Comp for Vincent)

7 (Comp for Feeley or Wesley)

To save some money, we'd likely trade down and turn 1a into 1c and 3c, giving us a grand total of 11 picks barring any other moves...

The 2012-2013 Panthers could barely resemble this year's squad, and that is usually the case for teams in a rebuilding mode... We have some young talent, but it is a matter of making the best with what you have now in order to plan for the future...

Our depth chart holdovers, if we do what I am suggesting, would resemble:

QB - Clausen, Pike

RB - Stewart, Goodson, Sutton

WR -LaFell, Gettis, Edwards

TE - Rosario, Barnidge

OT - Gross, Otah

OG - Wharton, Bernadeau, Robinson

C - Kalil

DE - Johnson, Brayton, Brown, Hardy

DT - Johnson, Landri, Neblett

OLB - Davis, Anderson, Norwood

MLB - Beason, Connor

CB - Gamble, Munnerlyn, McClain

S - Godfrey, Martin, Pugh

At Kicker, I have to say that Kasay is probably going to retire by 2012... Baker will still have a year left to go on his current contract...

That (not counting Kasay but counting Baker) is 35 core players. That leaves room for 18 new guys in 2 offseasons to come in and help us get better...

Primarily, one would think we would focus on WR and the right side of our OL, since both of those are our most glaring weaknesses at this point... After that, we need a space eater in the middle of the defensive line that can stop the run, hurry the passer, and gobble space up to free up our ends...

It might be best suited for us (if we retain Anderson, Davis, Beason, and Connor) to install some 3-4 defenses into our playbook to get all those guys on the field at the same time... Norwood will also benefit from this...

We can fill our holes in the return game and coverage teams with later draft picks or proven free agents... At some point we need to get an all-in-one kicker to replace Kasay...

We already have the strong/young foundation, and all we have to do is get a coach in here who will preach discipline, fundamentals, and overall have some sort of emotion that will pull our team together and move forward without some of our bad memories...

Unfortunately, sometimes when you get rid of those bad memories, you have to lose some of the good ones too... as was the case with Pep for me, and I am assuming the case will eventually be with Smitty and DWill (among others)...

Even though this season has given me no reason to be optimistic, I still remain that way for the Panthers' aspirations beyond 2011...

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That is assuming, of course, the lock-out will happen.

No one knows if it will or not.

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That is assuming, of course, the lock-out will happen.

No one knows if it will or not.

True, but at this point neither side is budging.

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Seems to me this question is moot really. The rebuilding process has already begun. This offseason will simply tell us if it a total rebuilding process where we get rid of all our veterans and older players or just a major rehaul with a few guys remaining.

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WR -LaFell, Gettis, Edwards

Unless something miraculous happens, I don't see this as a quality WR corp. We would need to upgrade through Free Agency to add a fourth, possible starter.

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That is the plan... :)

Ahh. I see where you're going with this now.

There's some concern for the QB spot too. I think Clausen is shell-shocked already. Fox has David s'Carr'ed him.

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The Pats only got a 3rd for Moss, I could see the Panthers getting a 4th for Smith and the same for Williams since he's on a 1 year deal with 5 games past and no season next year.

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The Pats only got a 3rd for Moss, I could see the Panthers getting a 4th for Smith and the same for Williams since he's on a 1 year deal with 5 games past and no season next year.

lol, the Bills got a 4th and a 6th for Lynch, and he's a dude with less talent and a series of off the field issues. (I'm not talking about he yelled at an old lady, I'm talking about legal issues.)

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SLJ, I have read in mulitple places that the 2011 free agency will have the same restrictions on free agents as 2010, meaning 6 or more years in the league will be needed to become unrestricted. Meaning all your UFA's could be tendered as restricted next Feb.

Of course the situation is different. The players may choose not to sign their tenders hoping that an eventual new CBA will lower the eligibilty requirement back to what it was in 2009 & earlier thus nullifying the tenders on the 4th and 5th year players and creating two free agency periods in the same season (March and the day/weeks after a new CBA is in effect).

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