April Fool’s, right? I know that’s what you’re thinking. That’s the same thought I had when I first learned of it! But how befitting of our Carolina Panthers, as strange as this offseason has been so far.
The more I read about it from various blog sources, the more it’s been proven a fact. All the stories align and there have been very few—minor at that—deviations between stories.
In the late hours of Wednesday night, and the early hours of Thursday morning, the Panthers were in fact working on contract details which they feel very confident, will entice Bills’ free agent receiver Josh Reed to sign a three-year deal with the club.
The specifics of the contract are unknown at this time, but this seems like a good move, and probably the biggest move Panthers fans can expect to see during this offseason.
What it does, is fulfill a couple areas. For one, it pacifies Steve Smith, who until now, has been very quiet about what moves the front office makes. All along, his mantra has been “owners own, coaches coach.”
I think Smith needs to remember to practice what he preaches, and he should also add in his mantra, managers manage. Until his name is on an office door with some form of qualtiy control as his title, then his job is further down the chain of command, with his job description of “players play.”
I never recall hearing “players have an opinion on who to sign or draft.” Yes, on some occasions it has happened, but for Smith to go out and make statements like this on his own accord—or any player for that matter—is downright disrespectful.
I digress, and furthermore, I apologize for my tangent. It’s no more my business to criticize a player as it is the player’s responsibility to write an article.
Back to Josh Reed.
What the signing of Josh Reed would accomplish, is a couple things. First, it would give the Panthers a capable second option receiver.
Smith stated he would prefer to be in the slot receiver position, but let’s be realistic. Unless the Panthers are able to steal a draft pick in the second-round, Smitty might have to make do with being the number one receiver in 2010.
In effect, this could put Dwayne Jarrett as the No. three receiver for another year, behind Reed. I know there’s a lot of (to put it kindly) skepticism there, and on top of that, many fans have already labeled Jarrett a bust.
I believe we will see something more out of Jarrett this season, with the change at quarterback from Jake Delhomme to Matt Moore. There seems to be more of a chemistry between Moore and Jarrett, and come the end of training camp or preseason, it could very well be that Jarrett supplants Reed as the No. two receiver.
So at this time, the picture is becoming a little more focused. The Panthers are picking up a free agent receiver who fits the “under-30” bill who would serve mainly as a role player, and he is something of an upgrade over what’s currently on the roster under Steve Smith.
Another interesting point to note, is Josh Reed and Panthers’ first-year receivers coach Tyke Tolbert, also formerly of the Buffalo Bills, might be reunited in Carolina.
In the end, it’s not a decision that will get Panthers fans excited and talking about an amazing receiving game. Yet again, the Panthers receiving game will rely mainly on Steve Smith. But that’s the way it’s been for a number of years now.
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