Dave Gettleman's Biggest Issue

Marty Hurney made a lot of bad decisions in his service with the Carolina Panthers. Granted, he made a few good ones as well, one being last year’s draft which panned out very well for the team, and of course he did lead us to a two NFC Championships as well as a Super Bowl. However, his blunders seem to outweigh all the good deeds he has done over the years. His Armanti Edwards pick up, the way he handled John Fox, and of course the predicament the Panthers seem to find themselves in currently, no cap room.

Yes the Panther’s very own “fiscal cliff” seems to be the biggest issue facing the team. Not the problems with the secondary, or the age of our defensive line, or even the age gap in the offensive line. No, the biggest issue facing the Carolina Panthers, and more importantly, Dave Gettleman is the fact that the Panthers just don’t have money to spend anywhere.

The NFL projected a league wide salary cap of 120 million dollars. The Panthers have 136 million dollars tied up in previously made contracts for the 2013 season. It doesn’t take a math major to figure out that the two numbers don’t exactly match up. So expect to see more faces leaving the Panthers locker room instead of coming in.

December 18, 2011; Houston, TX, USA; Carolina Panthers cornerback Chris Gamble (20) warms up before a game against the Houston Texans at Reliant Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Troy Taormina-USA TODAY Sports

So to reach the cap limit, the Panthers are going to have to trim the fat so to speak. According to Steve Reed with The Associated Press, “When Gettleman begins breaking down the numbers he’ll find a Carolina team that has $63.25 million in salary cap space committed to six players – defensive end Charles Johnson ($13 million), Gross ($11.7 million), Gamble ($10.9 million), center Ryan Kalil ($9.95 million), Beason ($9.5 million), and Williams ($8.2 million). Quarterback Cam Newton ($6 million), receiver Steve Smith ($5.75 million) and tight end Greg Olsen ($5.7 million) account for an additional $17.5 million in cap space.”

“So essentially two-thirds, or $80 million of the team’s salary cap is slated to go to nine players.”

That’s quite a lot of money tied up in nine players, granted some of those players are key players, who contribute a lot to the Panthers as a team, but some of those contract deals were unneeded. The contracts that stand out to me as unneeded are those of Chris Gamble, Jon Beason, and DeAngelo Williams. All three players have been sidelined for the majority of the season, Gamble and Beason for injuries and Williams was just flat out replaced about three games into the season.

Beason and Gamble have lost a ton of cache with the coaching staff and fans. Both players were replaced by rookie players this season after they suffered season ending injuries. Kuechly performed past all of my expectations with a fantastic rookie season. Gamble was replaced by rookie Josh Norman, who took over his spot as the Panthers number one cornerback. I wouldn’t say that Josh played better than Gamble, but he made a pretty good case for the position.

Out of the two players, Beason is more likely to stay. It has been said in the past that he is a fast learner, and is willing to take over James Andersons spot as an Outside Linebacker, leaving our starting Linebacker Unit with three great, proven players, Davis, Kuechly, and Beason. Gamble doesn’t have much of a reason to stay with the Panthers. I expect him to become a free agent, since he is in the last year of his contract, and our secondary has been taken completely over by young players. I project the starters to be Josh Thomas and Josh Norman taking the cornerback positions, and D.J. Campbell and Sherrod Martin in the safety positions, and maybe a rookie could be put into that mix-up, who knows. However all four of those players have eight years of experience between them, while Gamble has ten years by himself. His time as a Panther is more than likely done.

Dec 16, 2012; San Diego, CA, USA; Carolina Panthers running back DeAngelo Williams (34) runs the ball during the third quarter against the San Diego Chargers at Qualcomm Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Jake Roth-USA TODAY Sports

Now Williams is in an interesting position. He played his best football of his career at the end of the season, which is exactly the opposite of the numbers he put up at the beginning of the year. The Panthers do have two very competent players with him in the backfield alongside of Williams, Stewart and Tolbert. Either way I wouldn’t mind seeing him stay. The fans love him, he has one of the best-selling Panther’s jerseys in history, but he might leave because we have a lot of money tied up in his contract. Either way, his position with the team is very interesting.  Only time will tell what the future has in store for DeAngelo Williams.

Dave Gettleman is up to the challenge, and I have faith in him. I watched his press conference, and if first impressions were any indication of how he will pan out for the Panthers franchise, he will do just fine. This draft will be his litmus test for the young GM and I trust him implicitly!

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Tags: Carolina Panthers Chris Gamble Dave Gettleman DeAngelo Williams Jon Beason

  • All Down Hill

    OK Tony. If you’re going to imply AE as the biggest bust ever, let’s look at the facts. AE did all this with ONLY 20 touches in 2012. And with zero fumbles in the past two seasons.
    Panthers Stats
    Who had the longest play from scrimmage for the Panthers in the 2012 season: Armanti Edwards. 82 yards
    Who had the longest pass reception in 2012 for the Panthers: Armanti Edwards. 82 yards.
    Who had the longest punt return in the 2012 season for the Panthers: Armanti Edwards. 69 yards.
    Who has the longest kickoff return in the 2012 season for the Panthers: Armanti Edwards 35 yards.
    Who leads the Panthers in 2012 in yards per catch: Armanti Edwards: 24.2
    NFL Stats
    Who leads the NFC in punt return average in 2012: Armanti Edwards 35.5 yards.
    Who has the highest punt return average in a season in the history of the NFL: Steve Smith (future hall of famer), Panthers 2002 with 51.0 yard average. Who is #3 all time in the history of the NFL in Punt return average: Armanti Edwards with 35.5 yards in 2012. Again with only 20 touches and one of those was a pass. And yes he DOES have a hyper accurate cannon for an arm. But I digress.

  • Tony Cardwell

    If you want me to say AE is all that and a pack of crackers, I will. But I just don’t think that. I’ve been presented with the facts before in the comments before and my idea of him hasn’t been swayed. I enjoy watching him, and he’s a great athlete. All those yards per blanks you presented we’re all based off of one play, The catch against the redskins and the run back against the saints. I don’t hate the guy, he’s a good player, but I think other players are better, gettis, pilares, and lafell, and they all came from the same draft class. I’m glad we have him, but the trade for the pick was very ill conceded, and fan service for app state and the state of North Carolina. That’s my argument not that he’s a bad player.

  • All Down Hill

    I disagree that gettis. pilares are better than Armanti. And I’m not sure about LaFell. AE is leading in every category he can control. How can that be bad or a bust? He’s making the most of his opportunities in a huge way. For a season on an NFL team, he’s #1 in receiving average, he’s #1 in the longest play from scrimmage, he’s #1 in the longest kickoff return, #1 in longest punt return, #1 in punt return average (AE 35.5, Adams 11.5 plus fumbles, Munnerlyn 5.1 avg and at least one fumble), also he’s #1 in receiving yards per target at 13.44. Do the math, AE should be playing more. Last (DFL) on the team of the 12 players that caught balls in 2012 is Louis Murphy at 5.6 in yards per target. He must be good at blocking with those hands of stone. Why Murphy is ahead of AE is nuts. To me that math says every time you target Murphy you are losing 7.84 years in opportunity cost by not throwing to Armanti. Here’s a stat for you. Of his 57 touches in two years 53 were 1st downs. That’s 93% of his touches are 1st downs with zero fumbles.

  • Tony Cardwell

    I don’t think you understand what I’m saying. I am 100% against the trade of a second round pick for a player that is a mediocre receiver. I am not against the receiver. He has explosiveness, where some receivers don’t. He’s better than Murphy, but so is gettis and pilares, in my opinion. I never called him a bust. It can interpreted that way, but that’s not what I meant. We are both untitled to our opinions, and I dislike the trade of a second round pick for a mediocre receiver. A bust is Jeff Otah.

  • http://twitter.com/bryanfino89 Bryan Finlayson

    If AE actually got more run on the field, he’d be loved in Charlotte. The coaches have no understanding of how to use him. If the Pats had drafted him, we’d all be pissed that we didn’t trade up becuase Billy Boy would use him to the best of his ability.