Yeah, right now the busy and exciting period of free agency is over or hanging on life support. The money is drying up as the Panthers probably only have 2 to 2.5 mil (the latter being really over the budget) at the very most with $9.1 mil remaining. Of course there may be a couple of vets who could be restructured to free up some more cap space, but that may or may not be advantageous depending upon the circumstances (e.g., extensions may work better if a person is in our longer term plans). That being said, we could probably sign one or two persons if it strikes Dollar Store Dave's fancy.
Speaking of Gman, I got to give it to him. Though I know it is hardly a consensus, I look at the roster with it's cheaper signings, but with what I believe is undeniable upside, and am sure that the roster this year looks markedly better than this time last year---overall, and in reference to taking some pressure off to draft based upon need. Many may not agree, but I believe that we can largely go into the draft and nab that BPA at whatever the position, at least at and near the top even more so than the last couple of drafts.
i can't speak for everyone, but my mind is always working overtime when it comes to ways to make the team better. This is true in times of feast and famine. It's just the way that I'm wired when it comes to the Panthers. Although I am as contented as I can be for the most part with what Gettleman has done, I still believe that he could do more, and I am not even belaboring the "misses" that I believe that he made that would have still been on the cheap and fitting within our overall economic philosophy/condition (yes, D-Mo...and Rob Housler as opposed to re-signing Dickson for those who are curious, two options whom I believe would have been great fits here, and more likely to succeed here than where they ended up). Anyway, I was reading this article about prospective "still-available" FAs that we should sign, and other than a couple (Crabtree and Bernard Pollard), I expected us to give the other three a look.
I already mentioned Hakeem Nicks last week, so now I am going to mention the other two that Doug Green of Rant Sports listed, but two who were on my radar even before free agency began. One of the two is Knowshon Moreno. I can't hardly find any current info on the guy, other than he is rehabbing, but I have to think that he should be ready by the season. Look at it this way: The thought of Moreno should probably make a lot of people happy. Instead of drafting an injury risk with our first round pick from Georgia, we can just draft the older, first round near-bust from Georgia, right? Seriously, Moreno has the talent to be an excellent change of pace back for Stew, and a potential starter in case of injury (as the writer mentioned). One thing that Moreno also does very well is block, and can arguably block better than any back coming out of the draft. If we can get all that on a vet-minimum contract, laced with incentives and easily torn up, wouldn't that be a pretty good deal? Now of course the Gurley angle would only work if we would sign Moreno before the draft (which I doubt that we do), but Moreno will likely still be available after the draft. If we don't land a quality RB in the draft---and I mean quality, not another project JAG---then Moreno is still an option.
Lastly, there is absolutely no good reason that I can think of that we shouldn't make a run at Paul McQuistan. He will provide veteran depth and experience, as well as provide some spot duty at Tackle and Guard in case of injury. i don't know that I'd want him playing LT as he has never really been talented enough to handle speed edge rushers, but considering all the injuries that we've had the last couple of seasons, I would feel a little better if McQuistan was an optional deck chair. If nothing else, he could always be axed, much like Moreno or any other FA, before the season if his services are deemed no longer necessary.
The free agency options here are not likely to break the bank, nor are they locks to make a huge splash, especially McQuistan, but they are still out there and may add depth and/or have a certain amount of draft implications.