I’m sure I made it abundantly clear on the site, but I really like “Big Dwan” Edwards. He proved to be one of the better free agency pickups of last season. I have advocated for his increased tenure with the Carolina Panthers and the organization finally made a commitment around the beginning April by signing him to a one year deal.
Dwan has stated that he wants to stay in one place for a while, hopefully winning a championship with whatever team offers him a long term deal. He has also stated that he wants to stay in Charlotte for longer time, advocating for a contract extension earlier in the off-season. So his loyalties are to the team that offers him the better contract and I can’t say I blame him, though it does seem that he has some partial leanings to staying Charlotte. For a player who has been around the NFL, like “Big Dwan”, I would expect for him to want more job security as I’m sure he wants to settle down in a more permanent home, having played in Baltimore and Buffalo before landing in Carolina.
With all that being said I’m sure the Panther’s organization had some forethought coming into the NFL Draft about selecting more than one Defensive Tackle. Obviously they had a plan to draft “Big Hog Mollies” way before they started even telling the press their plans for the draft, and I’m sure Gettleman agrees with widely accepted notion that a strong Defensive Line makes for a strong Secondary unit. Thinking about it now, I’m sure they were just covering their bases by signing Dwan to a new contract, so that even if a future Star (See what I did there?) was not in the cards for the Panthers, they would still have a quality Defensive Tackle to fall back on.
In the scheme that Sean McDermott ran with Ron and Dwan Edwards, he had Ron pushing the OL while Dwan played the role as the pass rusher, a role that he did well at. Now with Ron Edward’s being replaced by Star Lotulelei as the primary push in the Defensive Line, Dwan Edwards is now up to compete with the new Purdue DT Kawann Short as the primary run stopper/pass rusher of the group. I’m not too sure that Dwan will be able to keep his spot.
Obviously Kawann is younger than the experienced Dwan Edwards, who is coming into his 10th year in the NFL. Kawann is also said to be one of the best pass rushers in the entire NFL draft, Dwan’s specialty, per say. Dwan ended up recording 6 sacks with the Panthers last year, but Kawann definitely has more upside as a player, only because of his age. I hate to say it though, I am a huge fan of Dwan’s and I would hate to see him benched, but he might be just a filler player for the next big thing. I really think Kawann will have a ton of value as a Panther and very well could be the next big thing for the Panthers.
So those are my thoughts on the whole Dwan Edwards/Kawann Short situation, but what do you guys think? Please leave your thoughts in the comments below.