Mitchell was a very pleasant surprise for the Panthers. He played well, made some mistakes, but over all had a good year for us. If he wants to take a bunch of money from Washington, by all means.
Was he a revelation? I don't think so. Was he very good? Yes. Is he ultimately replaceable? I think so. Our D starts with the Front 7. I think that we'll see that again next year that the our Front 7 will do enough to make whoever is playing safety for us look reasonably good. I'd love to have Mitchell's leaderships and attitude back, because it helped to fire up the rest of the defense. But at the same time, the Kracken is getting paid a large bucket of money..he needs to inspire the rest of the guys along with Johnson.
I've been thinking about the idea of success in the NFL, which is ever changing, trendy, and hard to predict.
A couple of weeks ago I read how the roster churn and bargain FAs were part of the reason that Seattle has started to get so hot while so young. So now as I think of our dear Panthers, and the maneuvering with Smitty, I think we're in that same game, roster churn.
Frankly, no one can feel too secure unless they are year in, year out, one of the best in the league. Otherwise they are replaceable. Like if you have a true franchise QB(Cam), Pass Rusher (Hardy & Johnson - total luxury), LT (well...), the rest are replaceable pretty easily. I will immediately contradict that by adding Luke Keuckly to our list of irreplaceable players. Look at how we handled our secondary last year? I think WR will end up a lot like that this year.
When you think about it, with all the numbers at the combine, the difference between a 4.5 40 yard dash and a 5.0 is so small. It's about hunger as much as talent. About finding good deals in the draft and FA, but mostly for guys that fit your team. They don't have to be the most talented, but they need to be good enough to excel in your system.
Maybe that's the route Gettleman is going. Instead of worrying about the names on jerseys, its about the players on the field executing the game plan. I do hate the "sky is falling" that's going on around here. Instead, we need to trust in the G-man (heck, if lose, then he's going to get axed) and Rivera. I think they are going to keep us competitive, but the choices won't always make the fans happy.
Then again, if we have a great 2014, no one will cared what happened in March.
64 receptions, 745 yards, 4 touchdowns, 11.3 yards/reception, 6 drops, 35 years old making $7MM+ this next season.
49 receptions, 627 yards, 5 touchdowns, 12.8 yards/reception, 6 drops, 27 years old making likely $1MM+ this next season.
One of these receivers is Steve Smith, the other is Brandon LaFell. One is a player that 99% of the people here don't ever want on this team again. The other is a player that 80% are ready to turn in their panthers fan card, burn b of a down, and kill the new front office for letting him go.
This is what emotions do to your football team people, and why it is imperative for the GM to get passed those emotions and make tough decisions. I love Steve Smith. But JR hired Gettleman to do a job and y'all kept bitching and bitching that he was just another yes man. You think it was easy for Gettleman to walk into JR's office and put this idea on the table? I'd be nervous that's for sure. Obviously JR has given him the authority needed to make some tough calls in order to get this team where it needs to go, which is at least a step in the right direction.
Wonderful perspective on the situation. We all love Smith, but the production doesn't justify the price.
If we're looking at the "locker room" thing, then I guess what is the locker room thing?
Steve is known to be hyper competitive, and doesn't take crap. He works harder than about anyone else, but in the last few years, has taken it on to be more of a mentor. Is this about the LaFell thing? He was campaigning hard to get LaFell resigned, but that doesn't look likely to happen until later.
I feel like this is kind of a bad "statement" for Gettleman to make. He's our most productive WR, he accounted for 20% of our receiving statistics, and can still make clutch plays. We don't gain much by cutting him (even as a June 1st cut), and he's the only WR under contract. So basically Gettleman would be saying "There is no such thing as a sacred cow." If he's going to be that cut throat, we'd better be close to that 12-4 next year, or that message isn't going to carry too well.