Not really, because it would still be a jackass thing to do and possibly a critical penalty. Drill them legally or right at the whistle all day long, but no room for BS like what he pulled.
Disagree. That was blatant and completely intentional. Julius Peppers' hit on Rodgers a few years back or possibly even Cannon's leg-whip on CJ fall into the 'stuff happens' category, but Harper's falls into the completely intentional 'gigantic douchebag' category, similar to Cameron Wake popping Cam in the mouth last year. Not meaning to be a Panthers homer here but those are the examples I can think of at the moment.
See, that's where I disagree. I think plays like Cannon's leg whips are the dirty ones. Those plays can end someone's career. Roman's late hit on Smith was never going to come close to doing that. I'm not being a Panthers homer, just don't find plays like Roman's to be near as bad. There are way worse plays in football.
As I said earlier, he had great seasons behind our pass rush before. There really is no excuse for how bad he was last year.
Panthers fans are just trying to be optimistic and are hoping he returns to form of just a season prior to last. It's not guaranteed or anything, but it's possible. Plus, it's much more enjoyable to be hopeful.
People overplay the late hit on Smith thing. If you've ever played sports, you know that type of stuff happens all the time and it's not personal. It's pretty easy to get caught up in the moment when you're playing aggressively and angry. That hit was never going to hurt someone.
I'm a UGA football fan so I've watched him quite a bit. I'd be very surprised if he ever developed into anything more than a solid rotational guy who can go deep. I'd be very happy if I'm wrong, though.
The reason the Panthers could maybe pull off having DJax's contract the next few years is 1) The cap, by estimates, will continue to increase a good amount each year going forward, and 2) the Panthers have a good amount of dead cap space dropping off during those years as well, and 3) Cam and him seem to be pretty tight and that matters more than people realize.