Time for Some Clarity

With all the signings and cuts made in the past two days, the NFL seems to be complete chaos. Most of all, the Carolina Panthers have made some moves, and some MOVES. Jerry Richardson has opened his pocket book and welcomed back all that we love about Carolina: Charles Johnson, DeAngelo Williams, and James Anderson. Not to mention that Jon Beason, Thomas Davis, and Steve Smith are all staying.

As with any free agency, rumors are spreading like wildfire. Nnamdi Asomugha(spelled that without looking it up) is going to the Texans. Kyle Orton is going to the Dolphins. All these rumors may prove to be factual, but as of now they have no truth. There are a couple of rumors and other changes made by the Panthers I feel the need to talk about. Join me after the break to see what’s on my mind.

Many of you have probably heard that the Cleveland Browns have released our once beloved Jake Delhomme. He was to be paid entirely too much money for what would amount to a 3rd string quarterback. Delhomme might be signed to another team, but I don’t think anyone is going to take a chance and bring him in to compete for the starting position. Delhomme has been through one hell of a career and would prove to be a great mentor.

Ok I know you are asking “where are you going with this?” Well, I’ll tell you about that right now. Since it was announced he was being released, reports have swirled about where Delhomme will go. I bet you can guess the No. 1 landing spot for No. 17: The Carolina Panthers. Well, people are torn about this. We just used our past two drafts to get a quarterback, and we saw Delhomme fall apart so we don’t want him near Charlotte. Others are saying, “hell yeah bring Delhomme back, he can start and give Cam time to adjust to the NFL.” I agree with the first statement. I love Delhomme with all my heart, and I still sport my No. 17 jersey, but the Panthers are in a new era. Delhomme just doesn’t fit. Delhomme will make an excellent mentor as I previously stated, but he won’t do it in Carolina. First off, his beloved John Fox is now a Bronco, and Rivera has no Delhomme experience. The Panthers are in a youth movement, and I was surprised in the signings of Ron Edwards(32 years old) and Olindo Mare(38 years old). So to put the issue to rest: Jake Delhomme, as much as Panther Nation may love him, will not be a Panther again. Unless they sign him to a 1 day contract in order to retire a Panther.

Moving on! Adam Schefter, ESPN’s Insider, reports that Steve Smith would like to stay with the Panthers. Smith went as far as to say:

“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 puts all rumors about Smith to rest. There is really nothing else to say on the issue, besides the fact that all of Panther Nation is screaming in joy.

Then we get to John Kasay. I ran an article a few weeks back about the future of John Kasay, and I mentioned that he would leave on his terms. I was entirely wrong. Hell even Pat Yasinskas the NFC South blogger on ESPN.com agreed with me. He even compared Kasay to the Panthers with JoePa and Penn State. We both believed that Kasay would decide when he was done playing football, not the Panthers deciding for him. Many other blogs and news sites have posted that Kasay deserves a statue outside of BoA Stadium. I don’t know if I agree with that in the near future. But, maybe let our feelings settle and see how we feel about it in 4-7 years. One thing the Panthers’ front office needs to do: retire John Kasay’s number. Kasay is an original Panther, and has been with the team through thick and thin. I know I’m sad Kasay is gone, and I would have liked to see Rhys Lloyd take over, but I don’t work for the organization. This is the one move by the Panthers that I do not approve. I will always stand by that opinion.

I must say, I think I like this type of chaotic/frantic free agency a bit better. I hate to see players like John Kasay, Derrick Mason, and Todd Heap get cut, but it is the name of the game. I’m happy to see Reggie Bush out of the NFC South, and glad to welcome Ron Edwards to our family. Overall, the 2011 NFL Season will be one of the best, and we’ve only had 3 days of free agency.

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Tags: Carolina Panthers Jake Delhomme James Anderson Jerry Richardson John Kasay Jon Beason Ron Edwards Steve Smith

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