Carolina Panthers offseason move felt like April Fools’ Day
This offseason roster move felt like April Fools’ Day came early for the Carolina Panthers.
In the spirit of April Fools’ Day many media outlets around the internet make an attempt at fun and humorous posts revolving around trades, roster moves, or other facets associated with their respective teams. Often the information is harmless and easily detectable but sometimes the occurrence is real and although the Carolina Panthers made this declaration many weeks ago – it still feels as if we’ve been fooled.
Moving on from a veteran captain that has known only the Panthers as his NFL home since being drafted in the first-round of the 2005 NFL Draft was a bold move – especially when the player wanted to return. Yes, age is a factor but three consecutive Pro Bowl seasons and a first-team All Pro selection over the past four years – his only throughout a 14-year career – serve to reveal he isn’t slowing down anytime soon.
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Regardless, general manager Marty Hurney elected to move on from linebacker Thomas Davis this offseason and it still doesn’t seem like a reality. Davis has addressed the topic, despite being blindsided by the news and although he hasn’t spoken to coach Ron Rivera, there are apparently no ill feelings. He’s already signed with the Los Angeles Chargers and while it’s hard to imagine Davis in anything but the blue and black, we’ll see it next season.
A suspension to begin 2018 may have opened the door for Carolina to get a glimpse of what life would be like without the defensive fixture, but how this defense responds will be key. Luke Kuechly remains in the middle but around him there are plenty of changes on going. Carolina has announced plans to evolve their defensive strategy, implementing more 3-4 fronts and if no other linebackers are signed, the development of Jermaine Carter, Jared Norris and Andre Smith will be critical, alongside Kuechly and Shaq Thompson.
A move many fans wish would have evolved today as a farce, instead developed earlier in the offseason, as Carolina moves on from one of the best in franchise history.