Posted 13 March 2012 - 08:50 PM
When was the last time we spend a ton of money for a premier player and they had an all=pro season? I can't remember 1 ever. When was the last time we paid big bucks for a very good player and they had an All-pro season. Mike Wahle in 2005??? When was the last time we had an All-pro player who we drafted and developed make the pro-bowl- Newton, Smith, Gross, Kalil in 2011.
The draft always will be the best way to go to find your stars and starters. What is free agency for? Finding guys who are cheap, coming back from injury, upcoming stars not yet discovered, etc who can fill roles and help the team. This is one area where Hurney does a very good job. Just last year he gets Nannee who helps the receivers learn the scheme, they bring in Kearse and Shirley who shore up the middle when the rookies are overwhelmed and Edwards go down prematurely. When Davis and Beason go down unexpectedly, Hurney brings in Gaither, Senn, WIlliams, Phillips to fill in. Not exactly stars but what can you expect at that point.
He goes out and brings in Shockey and trades for Olsen to give Newton one of the best tight end attacks in the NFC last year.
Honestly I understand the whining if you look for the FA big splash and haven't follwed the Panthers since 1995. But if you have been around for the whole ride, you have seen the big splashes and know they don't pan out for us. You know some of our best FAs were guys like Stephen Davis who was coming back from injury and Delhomme who was really a nobody before he came here. You know that role players are just as important as stars and realize that you need more journeymen and blue collar guys who are cheap than you do big splash free agents. You know that the Ricky Proehls are every bit as important as the big name Wes Welkers but can be had more reasonably.
You also know that Hurney is one of the best going through the scrap pile looking for hidden gems, finding value in the 6th and 7th rounds of the draft. So you just sit back and watch what happens. Like watching a football game, it isn't the guys who are making noise at the beginning of the game that matters, but the guys who are making noise at the end. The same applies to the draft especially if you don't have 30 million in cap space.
There are going to be almost 600 free agents available. Why lock guys up day 1 and overpaying when there will be literally hundreds of guys willing to sign for cheap just to have the opportunity to play this year. Hence the reason we didn't sign any of our UFAs or tender Schwartz.