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top dawg

Member Since 11 Dec 2008
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Free agency: Lingering Options, as pointed out by Rant Sports **No need to read if you...

13 April 2015 - 12:03 AM

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.

Cosell talks generally about evaluation

12 April 2015 - 12:45 PM

Greg Cosell and a few others in the Philly media discuss some of the nuances of evaluating certain positions, and how to project and/or try to translate how players will do as pros.

This may be too dry for some, and it's not about specific players for the most part, but it is food for thought. It definitely shows why Cosell and some others are a lot more thoughtful and discriminating as it pertains to different prospects than most.

If you want to get generally smarter, wiser and perhaps more judicious, at least about the way that you view the entire process, then listen for the next 40 minutes.


I love Peanut already. Must read by Henson

11 April 2015 - 09:46 AM

Peanut Tillman says he still has a lot left in the tank. I hope that this is true for all of us, because I like how this guy is talking. He obviously has some good chemistry and karma with some of the guys, and I trust that this will spread throughout the rest of the team. If an injury doesn't stop him, I only see good things coming from this signing.

Sure, the words are few, but they say a lot about his belief in himself and what is going on with the team, his knowledge and approach to the game, and they also give a glimpse as to how genuine and an overall good person that Tillman seems to be.

"Do I plan on taking a starting spot? No," Tillman said. "I plan on earning and working for what I get."


Nicks not ready to call it a life. A good plan B in case Jennings never comes?

09 April 2015 - 08:31 PM

Well, while Greg Jennings is playing with the sensibilities of much too serious fans on social media, Hakeem Nicks is still out there with little time to play, seriously trying to find a team. It appears like the way that he is talking (or not), that the lack of a market for him has kind of humbled him in a way. He realizes that he has a lot to prove to be more than a footnote in the minds of NFL types everywhere.

Nicks, who was once viewed as having great potential and upside, is not even being taken seriously by Panthers fans in his hometown. And after a fairly weird visit with Dave Gettleman last off season, one can only wonder if he has any value in the minds of the Panthers' FO.

A fallen Nicks is right about one thing though, his game tape toward the end of the season showed flashes of the pre-injury Nicks, who at 27 may turn out to be a better value than Greg Jennings after all is said and done. Still a long shot to be considered anything more than what Writer Kevin Patra intimated as a "bit-role" receiver, Nicks' ability to make some nice catches the latter part of the season is undeniable for anyone that studied his catches.

"If you actually look at the film, you'll see I had my burst back last year. I got everything back," he said. "For two years, when I was coming off the broke foot and PCL (sprain) in the knee, it took some time to get back. But last year, if you put the film on, you'll see I was beating guys off the line of scrimmage, beating guys downfield in my routes."


Even with his productivity late last season, a time in which he arguably did show spurts of being perhaps greater than either of the last two free agents with a viable game, Jennings or Crabtree (other than possibly Mike Williams who may be done), one problem that Nicks has always had is his seeming diva-esque attitude. But, like I intimated earlier, that seems to be in check, and Nicks is obviously healthier than he has been in a while. That being said, would anyone still consider him a good plan B if the Panthers and Jennings never tie the knot? At this late time in free agency, when we are supposedly still in the market for Jennings, would a cheap deal for a motivated Nicks provide the same type of feeling of security?

Curious as to why no Strong pre-draft visit.

09 April 2015 - 03:48 AM

OK, perhaps I have missed the time and place that Jaelen Strong came to town or had a private workout with Panthers personnel. I started with the Huddle, then on to SB Nation and BBR, and apparently Strong has not visited yet. This is curious to me as he is being touted by Mr. Igo as one of a few strong candidates to be the pick (pun intended).

Now perhaps someone can correct me if I am wrong (because I believe that I read it somewhere) but wasn't Star Lotulelei the only guy that the Panthers have ever drafted in the first couple of rounds without a confirmed pre-draft visit or workout? Of course Gettleman has only been here a couple of drafts so far. That, his style to hold things closely to the vest, along with his drafting of Lotulelei may mean things are changing, but still. Lotulelei's fall into our laps was totally unexpected (except by a few, myself included particularly late), but Strong is not even a consensus first round talent, let alone a top five pick like Lotulelei was before his trumped up medical issue.

Again, the Panthers have had a history of drafting guys with confirmed pre-draft visits and work-outs in the first and second round from what I read before Gettleman came, and Star may be the only one EVER that we drafted in the first couple of rounds otherwise.

Yeah, this is what I saw: http://draftpanthers...leman-strategy/

"If you really want to know who the Panthers may draft in the first two rounds, keep checking our Pre-Draft Visits Tracker. Based on the notes our staff has compiled, the Panthers have never drafted a player in the first two rounds who did not have a confirmed Pre-Draft Visit or Work-Out."

Edit: Some in fact remember us working out Star. I don't know whether it was "confirmed" by the Panthers or not, but, that's beside that point, this would be further evidence that makes me question why hasn't Strong had his day. Of course there is still time. It just seems like if he were the preference at WR, like has been expressed emphatically, then he would have worked him out by now.