It’s in the job description – “write about the Carolina Panthers and any NFL news that can impact the Carolina Panthers.” But here we are, in that dead zone of the NFL offseason between roster moves and the start of free agency. All we can do now is sit back and hope that the Scouting Combine in Indianapolis is worth some coverage this weekend.
Oh, sure, I could have used some space yesterday talking about how lucky many Panthers fans are to live in a state where NASCAR was born, where the Stanley Cup has visited for a year, where UNC and Duke get to play twice a year and even where voters might make a major impact on the presidential primaries in March. But, hey, this is a football blog, right?
The Panthers have made moves by releasing some veterans, re-signing a couple and by dangling a player or two for trades. That’s fine and everything but then we’re left with this period of nothing-ness which places sports writers, reporters and even bloggers like myself in a position of finding something interesting, anything, to pass along.
There has to be something to look forward to, right? Well, yes, there is! The official start of the free agency signing period is February 29th. But that usually causes a lot of heated discussion (arguments) among fans about who to sign. Fans always want the best for their team and rightfully so. But as fans, we seem to get this idea in our heads that as long as our team has money to spend they should be going after all the big fish in the free agency pond. It simply doesn’t work that way.
Too often we see teams make a splash by throwing huge amounts of money at any player with a well known name. (Nate Clements, anyone?) Only to see little production from the player on the field while putting themeselves in salary cap hell.
Which brings me to the point of this post (if there really is one) – the Panthers have proven to be conservative in the past. They don’t usually put huge contracts on the table for big name free agents. Maybe this year will be different considering some of the talk we’ve heard out of Charlotte but that’s doubtful.
The team has needs at several positions – safety, a power running back (?), offensive line and potentially a backup quarterback. There may be others but those would be the major needs. It’s what happens when another team signs a player that usually makes things interesting – fans go off the deep end thinking that it should have been their team who signed him.
So, let’s keep in mind that every player available isn’t coming to Carolina. We can’t always catch the big fish. Sometimes that’s not the best practice anyway. What’s usually best for the team and the franchise is to catch several smaller fish. That usually adds up to more depth and a better chance to win.
Maybe there was a point to this post afterall.