It had to be painfully obvious to GM Dave Gettleman. The Panthers answer to their offensive line woes clearly wasn’t on the roster. So he went out and signed former Panther Travelle Wharton. This move had been anticipated for some time now. The hang up seemed to be an issue with the number of years on the contract. Wharton wanted two years and the Panthers were only willing to sign him to one. Well in this stare down the Panthers blinked first. They had no choice in the matter. The play of Carolina’s offensive line this preseason can be described in a myriad of different way but suffice it to say the offensive line has been unsatisfactory at best. Something had to be done and Wharton provides some stability to the ineffective line.
Wharton was originally drafted out the University of South Carolina by the Panthers in 2004. After spending 8 seasons in Charlotte and starting in 99 games as a Panther, Wharton signed with Cincinnati in 2012. He suffered a knee injury and spent 2012 on the injured reserve list for the Bengals. He became a cap casualty at the end of the season. Wharton should certainly be welcomed back to Charlotte with open arms.
Wharton has played both Guard and Tackle so his versatility will go a long way in helping Carolina sort out the offensive line concerns. I think the Panthers are a long way from having the problems of the offensive line solved. Wharton is a step in the right direction by he is only the first step. They will need to scavenge the cast offs from other NFL teams as the cut down days are looming across the league. It is there they can hope to fill some of the other needs along the offensive line that are so glaringly apparent.