Now that D-Will has a new contract, what does that do for the Panthers? The obvious is the cap for the 2013 season and beyond. This year alone it brings us $3.2 million lower than we were before the new contract was signed by #34. This move is one that could mean a couple different things. One is he stays with the Panthers and his contract helps with the cap space for the next couple years, or could there be an ulterior motive behind this move? This restructure also makes him more attractive to potential suitors that thought about, but couldn’t quite afford the monies that Williams was due on his former contract.
Some teams that come to mind for potential need at the RB position are; Rams, Dolphins, and the Lions. To me all three of these teams could use a steady, experienced RB.
First the Rams, they added two WRs in the draft, Tavon Austin and Stedman Bailey. Austin might be something the Rams want to hold on to, but Bailey might be a little more available. Bailey and some picks given to the Panthers seem reasonable to me. They have a young RB crew in St. Louis and could use the experience Deangelo Williams could provide. Also the fact that a strong running game could open the passing game for Bradford.
Second I think the Dolphins have a need for a strong RB. They too have a relatively young backfield with most experienced player having only 3 years under his belt. The problem with the Dolphins is who/what do we get in return that’s of equal value? Draft picks alone wont get a deal done and there aren’t to many players that would make sense. Maybe going defense and getting Grimes to help the secondary plus picks, but that to me would be a long shot.
Last, but not least are the Lions. They have a stellar offense because of the passing game, but their running game has had zero continuity to it. They have had a time with RB’s getting injured or just plain not performing like expected. They did bring in Reggie Bush this year, but he is not an every down back that can run it up the middle. The main thing that would stop this deal dead in its tracks is who on the Lions are they willing to deal? Outside of Megatron and Stafford no one really excites you. So this deal would seem to be the least likely out of the three.
With all that being said, I think the backfield for the Panthers is becoming a little too crowded. If Barner can perform at the RB position like expected then I think the Williams loss wouldn’t sting as much. Even if Williams leaves, we still have a couple back ups behind Stewart.