He has to be extended. Him having a $13mil cap hit on the roster really inhibits what we can do in FA. Extend him to a 5 year deal, with the lowest 1st year hit as possible.
CJ - A restructuring could free up lots of cap room(depending how much). Makes too much sense not to happen.
Free Agent signings
Anthony Collins - 5 yr deal ~ 15 to 19M guaranteed
I’m basing that deal of what Will Beaty got with the Giants last year. I see him getting similar. With rumors of us going after Munroe, it’s clear that we will be going after a OT in FA. Can’t have 2 rookie/young guys protecting Cam on the outside. Collins has always shown promise but didn’t have enough snaps to get a true value of him. He has been very good with more time this season and can be a gem for us. (low cap hit 1st yr deal)
Hakeem Nicks - 2yr 12mil (8 guaranteed)
With all the cap maneuvering we have just enough to get Nicks.While Nicks had 0 TDs he still had good production while not being 100% healthy. 56 rec 896 yards, 7 dropped passes. The Giants offense wasn't great by any stretch of the imagination. Eli had a down year, the O-line was crap and the OC was awful(again) which lead to his firing. When healthy(2011 best example), he is very tough to deal with. Great hands, physical, and can high point the ball very well. Has the ability to be open even when covered. Not overly fast but was a deep threat because of his physicality and ability to win 1 v 1 against DBs. We give him a chance to come home and prove himself as being one of the better WR in the league. At the end of the deal, he’s 28 and if he performs well, will demand a mega deal. Win-win for both parties. (Similar to Maclin who got 1 yr $5.5, 3.5 guaranteed)
*Alt option to Nicks* Sydney Rice 1 yr deal, similar to Maclin's but slightly cheaper.*
The Panthers used a two-man rotation at right guard between Nate Chandler (-1.3) and Chris Scott (-2.4), while left guard Travelle Wharton manned his usual spot, but all three finished in the red. Wharton was particularly disappointing given his strong play since taking over the job back in Week 6 as he finished at -3.2 overall including -4.4 against the run.
Wharton was controlled by Justin Smith on more than one occasion, most notably in the first quarter at both the 9:12 and 0:55 marks where Smith stood him up and got inside to make the tackle. Perhaps his worst play, however, came with 4:47 to go in the second quarter when he tripped on his pull attempt on 3rd-and-goal. Tolbert subsequently tripped over Wharton and the 49ers had their second goal line stand of the first half.
As for Chandler and Scott, Chandler got little movement in the running game and surrendered a sack to DE Tony Jerod-Eddie with 7:11 to go in the fourth quarter while Scott gave up three hurries on his 21 pass block attempts. It was not a good day for Carolina’s guards.
Over the course of a game, it often feels like only a handful of plays make the difference, a story that best describes the Carolina secondary in this one. Munnerlyn getting beat by Boldin on the double move proved costly as it led to a San Francisco touchdown that made it a 10-point lead early in the third quarter (and even the touchdown could have been avoided as CB Drayton Florence (-1.9) overran Kaepernick on his 4-yard score.)
Rookie free safety Robert Lester (-1.4) whiffed on his only tackle attempt as RB Frank Gore juked him on his way to a 39-yard gain that set up a 49ers field goal. And, finally, perhaps the worst of the bunch, CB Josh Thomas lost his cool with an unsportsmanlike conduct penalty with 4:10 to go in the game, just as the Panthers had made a third down stop and were prepared to get the ball back for one final shot to mount a comeback.
Thomas played only three snaps on the day, but his penalty proved costly and summed up a frustrating afternoon for the Carolina secondary.
Linebackers Lead the Defense
As has been the case for most of the season, the Panthers got strong play from linebackers Luke Kuechly (+1.7) and Thomas Davis (+1.8), and even Chase Blackburn (+0.8) got into the action with a nice effort. Kuechly had some issues in coverage, particularly when he fell to the ground on tight end Vernon Davis’ touchdown at the end of the first half, but he did his usual fine work against the run grading at +2.0 and getting in on three stops. He also had a well-timed delayed blitz that led to a sack, one his two pressures notched on five attempts.
Davis was rarely out of position in the running game, grading at +1.4, and he picked up two hits and a hurry on his nine pass rush attempts. Meanwhile, Blackburn was as active as any Carolina linebacker on his 43 snaps. He got in on four stops and posted a season-best +1.3 grade against the run. It was a good final showing for Carolina’s linebacking corps.
Newton graded at +3.5 on his 21 drop-backs in a clean pocket, but only -2.0 on his 12 snaps under pressure.
Excellent write up as usual by PFF and an in depth analysis of what they did last season.
In the previous installments in this series we’ve looked at some of the league’s premier individual pass rushers, but for our sixth we’re going to run a combination and take a look at one of the league’s emerging pass-rusher partnerships.
Since the Panthers lost Julius Peppers to Chicago in the 2010 free agency period they have won only 15 games, but in spite of such a high profile loss, their defensive end pairing has gradually flourished into one of the league’s better pairings. In that first season without Peppers it was Charles Johnson who shone en route to collecting 78 total pressures and a 4-3 defensive end best 14.1 Pass Rushing Productivity rating. Though 2011 was a significant step backward for Johnson, his raise back to prominence in 2012 coincided with Greg Hardy’s continued gradual growth to give the Panthers an excellent and productive defensive end duo despite of the lack of any sort of inside presence throughout this period.
Strengths Johnson: Outside pass rush (26 total pressures, pressure every 18.9 pass rushes)
Hardy: Inside pass rush (16 total pressures, 56.3% conversion rate)
Weakness Conversion Rate: Johnson: 75 total pressures, 33.3% conversion rate Hardy: No obvious weakness
Chief Victim Tyler Polumbus: 11 total pressures (one game)
Donald Penn: 11 total pressures (two games)
Troublesome Opponent New York Giants: 1 Ht, 1 Hurry combined (Week 3
Warning it's a tad long but you don't have to read all of it.
Pick 1 - #14
Keenan Allen, WR, Cal
Why WR: The Panthers really need to be start thinking about the future at WR and considering the amount of WR’s we've worked out, it’s clearly a priority. I would love to go DT here but unless Star or Floyd falls, I don’t think there is one worth the pick here.
Why Allen: Allen has great size(6-2 with long arms) and good speed to be a very good WR in college. Anyone who watched Cal for just even a couple of games could see that even though he was held back by poor QB play, he’s an excellent talent. He is an experienced crisp route runner and has ran numerous routes(one positive from poor QB play) and showed good quickness with elusiveness and a 2nd gear to get away from defenders. He’s also physical and attacks the ball in the air as well as being a willing competent blocker.
Concern: His knee injury is my main worry. If his workout on April 9th goes well, I’ll be really content with this pick.
Pick 2 - #44 Jesse Williams, NT Alabama
Why NT: Why not NT? The Panthers have a big hole at NT. As much I would love Colin Cole to pan out, he hasn’t played football for a year after being cut by the Seahawks after an ankle injury. The Panthers need a big run stuffer next to Dwan. It’ll also allow us to cut Fua, who just plain sucks.
Why Williams: If Hankins is available board, I would take Hankins but I think he’ll be gone. Williams was a very good run stuffer for Alabama and the solidifier of their D-Line. The guy is massive, he picks up a ton of space and improved his technique each year which shows his work ethic and drive to improve. He has a good motor and power to shed blocks and make a tackle or just occupy multiple blocks. He would be perfect for our scheme and could be just what we wanted from Ron Edwards.
Concern: He really doesn't offer much as a pass rusher. He has plenty of size and power but he doesn't really have the agility of a pass rusher. Most likely he’ll be off the field on throwing 3rd downs but that could allow a front 4 of CJ-Dwan-Kraken-Alexander or CJ-Kearse-Dwan-Kraken
Pick 3 - #108 Jordan Poyer, CB Oregon State
Why CB: With Gamble cut, there is no #1 CB on the roster even with the solid additions Gettleman made. With Roddy White, Julio Jones, Marques Colston, Vincent Jackson in particular in the division, no #1 CB is a real red flag.
Why Poyer: First off I know some of you will say “No way he’s available here!” I thought the same but after looking at some mocks I’ve seen him in the 3rd/4th rounds so it is possible. Anyway, Poyer is 6ft and has long arms and plays the pass really well. From what I’ve seen and read he has shown great instincts and has nice aggression who’s not afraid to be physical and challenge big receivers.Can work in zone or man to man.
Concern: Not a really good tackler and sometimes gets burnt peeking in the backfield. Will also need to add some muscle. Didn't have the greatest combine or Senior Bowl which is probably why he falls to the 4th.
Pick #4 - 148 J.C. Tretter, OG Cornell
Why OG: Hangartner should NOT be a starter next season. If Gettleman doesn't pick up a OG before the draft, I think we pick up one here.
Why Tretter: Honestly I hope someone like Brian Winters is here but since that’s unlikely I’ll go with Tretter. J.C. was an All-Ivy League LT in 2012 but he’ll play OG in the NFL. He’s athletic and showed quick feet and has a bit of nasty to him. As a LT he showed very good mental side the game, as in recognizing blitzes etc. Clearly willing to learn and doing what it takes as he started as he was a back up TE for 2 years before switching to TE and has grown exponentially in that role.
Concern: Needs to add some bulk to be an OG and obviously it will be a new role for him. Playing against weaker competition is also a concern. With some good coaching and NFL weight program, I think he can be a starter for us week 1. (alt pick: Robert Lester S, Alabama)
Pick 5 - #172 Caleb Sturgis, K Florida
Why K: Panthers need a new Kicker. After Mare sucking, Medlock not panning out and a suspect Gano, this needs to be fixed. People like to say K’s are a dime a dozen but not the ones that can kick long FG’s and put points on the board.
Why Caleb: He’s the best K in the draft IMO. He has made several clutch kicks for Florida and makes kick over 50 yards easily... straight down the middle too. If you watched the East-West Shrine game, you know what I’m talking about. He was 24-28 in ‘12 and 22-26 in ‘11.
Would've liked a S, but not having a 3rd really hurts. Let me know that you guys think!