Gamble has been one of the best cover corners in the entire league in the last two years, doesn't play a position where you decline rapidly around 30, and yea he ended up on IR this last year but DeAngelo Williams finished two consecutive seasons in a row on IR and the panthers' brass followed that up with signing him to a ridiculous contract they had no business giving out. The only reason it makes more sense to cut Gamble is because he's much further down the life of the contract extension he got, which is a shame because a good CB is a higher priority in this league than a good RB.
And a huge part of the reason the defense still performed well without him was because the defensive line was bringing the heat throughout the year. In 2011 when Gamble basically had CJ as the only guy on the line that could pursue a QB he still performed ridiculously well.
This is exactly the kind of crap I knew we'd get ourselves into. Without Williams' extension we wouldn't even be having this conversation. The Panthers would probably give an extend/restructure to Gamble (and they'd have leverage since he ended up on IR last year and the Panthers' defense didn't collapse) that would open up cap space, but we need all that money
First of all no one wants to see Gamble gone. If we could keep everyone I am sure we would. The issue is that fans like you keep making the same arguments without dealing with the realities of the present.. This isn't a debate about what we should have done in 2011 in hindsight. This isn't about whether Williams contract was a good idea then or now given how we have used him. Those debates are largely over. We know the Williams contract wasn't a good one particularly given how things have turned out.
This conversation isn't about whether Gamble is a good player or nor or whether we would like to keep him. it is about whether give the realities of the current cap situation and the state of the current contracts as they exist, it is better to cut Williams or Gamble in order to get below the cap and give us some space to sign free agents.
I believe that given how we finished up last year on defense and how we actually improved once Gamble and Norman were no longer in the game, that Gamble's price tag doesn't warrant a 11 million cap hit this year and he is one of the easiest contracts to unload.
Your coulda shoulda argument about Williams is really useless at this point. It is too late to put that horse back in the barn, now we have to figure out what to do from here not keep blaming Hurney who is no longer here for everything.
If Williams contract was up this year and we could save 8 million by letting him go without having a ton of dead cap space next year, I would be the first to advocate cutting him as well.