Every single time we've made a deep run into the playoffs we were involved in free agency the year prior. In 1996 we brought in Kevin Greene, Wesley Walls, Greg Skrepenak, Eric Davis, all guys that proved to be big time contributers that year.
Before the 2003 season? Okay, um, there was Stephen Davis, Jake Delhomme, Ricky Proehl. Also I can't help but to include Brentson Buckner, Mark Fields, Al Wallace and Jeff Mitchell while we're at it whom were free agent acquisitions from previous seasons.
Before 2005 we added Lucas, Wahle, Marlon McCree and Chris Draft.
Even in 2008 we brought back Moose, signed Keydrick Vincent, and added Tyler Brayton to the roster.
This isn't just something we've benefitted from. The Giants, Packers, Saints***, Patriots, Ravens all improve their roster by upgrading through trades or FA acquisitions. Even when Hurney fleeced Jerry Angelo for Greg Olsen, he said something in the press along the lines of "I went up to Richardson and said 'look I know we've talked about just building through the roster you know'" as if ripping off the Bears was like pulling teeth from our end. What could we have gotten in the third round that would've been as good as Olsen? Free Agency, or even trading, is something to use to gain a competitive advantage, and in this league, winning is priceless. You don't gain any extra credit in prestige for saving money. Money which, by the way, is granted through collective bargaining and isn't even directly coming out of Richardson's pockets.
And it seems to me like this perception of a zen outlook by just accepting every boneheaded philosophy this team has is false because I didn't see a lot of serenity prayer at work on your part last night when you were typing in all caps trying to force every other poster on here to conform to a numb, stepford-like fanbase. If you're prepping up a response re-iterating your point about accepting it because you've got no control over it and that's your bottom line then save your energy because I understand what you're saying, I don't agree with it, and I'm not going to just ballyhoo every single transaction this team makes whether it makes sense or is foolish. I know you understand what I'm saying.
I don't argue that free agents aren't important, the question is whether we should spend for high priced free agents and whether they work out. Look at 2003. Davis was an injured guy who was supposedly over the hill. Proehl was on the backside of his career and Jake was a little known backup who couldn't win a starting job. They were critical to our success but so was Smith, Morgan, Jenkins, Rucker, Moose and other guys who we drafted and developed. I think you could make the argument that the free agents that year were pretty critical to our success. But none of them were expensive or big name acquisitions.
As for 2005 I think that Wahle or Lucas were very good but not indispensible. Both Draft and McCree were cheap. None of the guys in 2008 were big names or expensive either.
Why do I make that point? Because you act as if we got free agents in those years and we didn't this year. In the past 2 years we have added a bunch of free agents and traded for a bunch more. I could see someone in a year or two making the point that our 2012 run to the playoffs was fueled by trades for Campbell, Olsen, Murphy and free agent additions like Edwards, Tolbert, and Nakamura.
Honestly I am not sure I understand the point you are making. If it is that you can't get everyone in the draft, I don't think anyone disagrees. Hurney has been very active last year and this year trading for guys and acquiring free agents as well as signing our own. He just hasn't added big name guys or expensive free agents. If it is that you need to spend a ton to purchase big name guys on defense and not pay for your own especially at running back, then it is surely debatable.
No one says you have to like the Panther philosophy or agree with the front office but honestly we have gone down this road for the last several years and will do the same for the next several as well it appears. Build through the draft and supplement with reasonable free agents and trades for low round draft picks.
You have every right to your opinion, but lets be honest it hardly makes you right or justified. You can't prove that bringing in a few high priced free agents would have served us any better or won more games. Plus you give Hurney no credit for the trades and free agents he has brought in. He has been active and we are on the way up. Watch this year and see what happens..............