The Carolina Panthers were expected to be inactive in free agency, and thus far they have done little to debunk that line of thinking. However the team has made a couple of moves that have flown under the proverbial radar.
The Panthers have managed to resign back up quarterback Derek Anderson. This is a good move given the lack of proven quarterbacks (starters or back ups) available in free agency. Anderson has been with the Panthers for both of Cam Newton’s seasons and I think the Panthers feel very comfortable with Anderson as Cam’s back up. Yes, the skill set Anderson possesses differs greatly from that of Cam but Anderson has experience as a successful starting quarterback. Not only that Anderson does possess a strong arm and is not afraid to get the ball down field (where as Clausen is less that willing to make those throws). It was thought Anderson would make the trip to Cleveland to reunite with new Browns coach Rob Chudzinski. Anderson would most certainly be the favorite to win the starting quarterback job in Cleveland had he decided to make the trip. But instead he decided to stay in Carolina, well at least for one more year. The dollar amount of the deal was not immediately k own but it was revealed to only be a one year deal.
In what I hope will be a positive move, the Panthers signed journeyman Drayton Florence. Florence has been a pro for 10 seasons and he immediately becomes the Panthers most seasoned cornerback. It is likely that he will step in as a starter right away and he will mentor the Panthers young group of corners. Florence has played for several teams around the league. Most recently with the Detroit Lions where he played in 8 games before breaking his arm in a loss to the Niners. Florence has also spent time with the Chargers and Bills. His best season came in 2010 while in Buffalo. That season he amassed 58 tackles and had 3 interceptions one of which he returned for a score.
At the 2003 NFL combine Drayton Florence posted some decent numbers, 4.39 forty time, 35 inch vertical, and 18 reps on the bench press, but these numbers were posted 10 years ago. I know the team is hoping Florence can stay healthy. If he is able to, we can expect a good year out of Florence, he is a sound tackler and a better than average cover corner.
The salary cap situation has seriously limited the Panthers. The fans can’t expect much from the team this season as far as acquiring talent via free agency. It is tough when we see other teams adding talent. Especially teams like Tampa Bay who loaded up on free agents last offseason and again this offseason the Bucs are getting better. Panther fans are gonna have to be patient and look to the future to see a free agent influx of talent.
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