Okay after the most ill timed moving day in the history, where I went a solid 24 hours without internet during the craziest week in Panthers history, I am back and wow I have a ton to talk about and that is just today’s action.
First off this just in…. the Panthers just traded for Chicago Bears tight end Greg Olsen.The former Miami Hurricane is entering his fifth year in the NFL and is coming off a decent year in which he caught 41 balls, for 404 yards and five touchdowns. But it must be said that his previous years were much better, but because offensive coordinator Mike Martz came in last season for the Bears, Olsen’s numbers declined a bit because Martz hates the tight end. Now compare that to the production the Panthers got last year out of its tight end spot, a combination of Dante Rosario and Jeff King, 51 receptions, 385 yards and two touchdowns. I’d take Oslen’s numbers any day of the week.
At this point we don’t exactly what the Panthers gave up but what is for sure is that it was for a player to be named later, possible in my opinion Tyrell Sutton, and a draft pick which is unknown. But as long as that draft pick is anything higher than a third and that player to be named later is not Steve Smith, just kidding it’s NOT, then I am fine with it.
Olsen is a huge addition to an offense that looks like it will feature the tight end a lot. When Rob Chudzinski’s was offensive coordinator with the San Diego Chargers, Antonio Gates was the most dominate tight end in the game. Gates put up huge numbers every season and was the No. 1 target for Phillip Rivers. Some say that was due to the Chargers lacking any other good receivers, I say its how the offense is set up to be run. So, no I don’t expect Olsen or Shockey to put up Gates numbers but I would expect a dramatic improvement in the contributions of the tight end that has not been here since Wesley Walls.
This also shows that head coach Ron Rivera was not kidding in his opening preconfrence early this year. During the presser Rivera said a few things but mentioned one of the main goals wasto find a pass catching tightend. Well he now has two of them and that will surely take some pressure off of whoever is playing quarterback for the Panthers.
Also huge news, Panthers Steve Smith announced that he wants to retire a Panthers. When the news first broke around lunch time today this was great news but seemed a bit pelculiar. Could the Panthers have mentioned that this move was happening? I don’t know but I bet it would have helped convincing Steve to stay. The story first was first broke by ESPN’s Adam Schefter who spoke with Smith.
For me, I’m always going to be a Panther. They took a shot on me when I was coming from nowhere and now I’m going into my 11th year in the league. This will be where I retire, whether that’s five years from now or one year from now.
That is great news for all Panther fans, but I take it with a grain of salt. We all now how feisty and wound up Steve gets, that’s just how he is. He is a competitor and that’s what I love about him. I just hope he keeps this attitude early on in the season when the Panthers may be going through some growing pains at quarterback whether its Jimmy Clausen or Cam Newton.
But either way, a team with Steve Smith is much better without one, no matter what the would have gotten for him.
Also, in other news the Panther released its undrafted free agent signings today. The Panthers ended up signing 10 players, inlcuding three recvievers, two defensive linemen, two offensive lineman, a tight end, a kicker and a cornerback.
Here is the official list courtesy of the official Panthers website.
|WR||Darvin Adams||6-2||194||21||Auburn||Gulfport, Miss.|
|OT||Byron Bell||6-5||339||22||New Mexico||Greeneville, Texas|
|CB||Kendric Burney||5-9||190||23||North Carolina||Jacksonville, N.C.|
|DE||Ugo Chinasa||6-5||263||22||Oklahoma State||Richardson, Texas|
|DE||Thomas Keiser||6-3||261||22||Stanford||Wexford, Penn.|
|K||Adi Kunalic||6-0||184||22||Nebraska||Fort Worth, Texas|
|C||Ryan Pugh||6-1||307||22||Auburn||Hoover, Ala.|
|WR||Brandon Smith||6-1||204||24||Arizona State||Bakersfield, Calif.|
|TE||Greg Smith||6-4||245||23||Texas||Montgomery, Texas|
|WR||Jamorris Warren||6-0||196||24||Central Missouri||Belle Glade, Fla.|
Man, what a whirlwind past couple of days. Its been so exciting for me and I hope the same can be said for all of you Panther fans. I can’t wait for traning camp and the preseason to get started, there is going to be so many different and interesting storylines.
That is all for now, check back later on this week on the only depressing news of the week, the Panthers leetting John Kasay go. It had to be one of the toughest decision the front office has ver had to made and it is certainly deprerssing seeing the last true Panther walk away. So check back for that story later on this week.