September 9, 2012; Tampa, FL, USA; Carolina Panthers defensive tackle Dwan Edwards (92) reacts after he sacks Tampa Bay Buccaneers quarterback Josh Freeman (5) (not pictured) in the second half at Raymond James Stadium. Tampa Bay Buccaneers defeated the Carolina Panthers 16-10. Mandatory Credit: Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

The Panthers Unrestricted Free Agents

With free agency finally upon us there have been some very big moves made within the thirty two teams that make up the National Football League. Mike Wallace signing to the Miami Dolphins for a GINORMOUS amount of money, Wes Welker moving to the Denver Broncos, and more recently, Steven Jackson moving to our I-85 rivals the Atlanta Falcons are just a few of the bigger moves made during the beginning days of free agency. The Panthers have, as expected by basically everyone, made no moves thus far except for signing veteran CB Drayton Florence.

I really like the Florence pickup. I view it as a trade for the now retired Chris Gamble who was cut by the only team he has ever known. Florence will bring in the much needed experience that the Panthers young core Secondary players desperately need, a void left by Chris Gamble. We also made up a ton of cash by signing Florence over some of the other CB’s on the market, like Atlanta’s Brent Grimes. So I’m very happy with the pickup.

Nov 18, 2012; Detroit, MI, USA; Detroit Lions cornerback Drayton Florence (31) during the fourth quarter against the Green Bay Packers at Ford Field. Packers beat the Lions 24-20. Mandatory Credit: Raj Mehta-USA TODAY Sports

I am however, worried about the Panthers current unrestricted free agents that are currently on the market. Derek Anderson, Ben Hartsock, and Gary Barnidge have all signed back to the team, but seven players form the 2012 Carolina Panthers still remain. The group of seven unrestricted free agents is made up of: Dwan Edwards, Antwan Applewhite, Sherrod Martin, Captain Munnerlyn, Louis Murphy, Jason Phillips, and Mike Pollak. The three players that concern me are Captain Munnerlyn, Sherrod Martin, and Dwan Edwards.

In my opinion, “Big” Dwan is a must keep player. The Panthers need him to give the Defensive Line experienced and to give the Line a little push. You have to admit, the line played a lot better with Dwan than they did without him. Munnerlyn and Martin are obvious players who need to stay. Though their contributions were not felt in every game, they were somewhat abundant in the crucial times that they needed. In the two interceptions that Munnerlyn had, two of them were touchdowns, a very good percentage. Sherrod Martin contributed as well, in the last few games when he started. We also need the depth in the Safety positions. It has been reported that Captain and Dwan have been offered deals from other teams, more specifically; Miami has been reported to be very interested in Munnerlyn. If the Panthers were smart they would wrap these players up soon.

The other five player’s futures seem to be uncertain to me. I expect that Louis Murphy and Antwan Applewhite will be casualties to the Panthers salary cap issues. With all the cuts the Panthers have made they still are just a few million dollars under the cap, not leaving much money to maneuver with. The Panthers have also cut starting Outside Linebacker James Anderson, which ended up saving us a large sum of money.

Those are my thoughts on the Panthers personal issues, but what do you, the readers, think? Please let us know in the comments below!

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Tags: Carolina Panthers Drayton Florence Dwan Edwards

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