Home > Regular Season > Did franchising Peppers hurt the Panthers?

Did franchising Peppers hurt the Panthers?

There is an interesting article over at Cat Scratch Reader by CSR moderator Jaxon that discusses recent comments from Panthers’ beat writer Darin Gantt suggesting the Panthers are struggling this season because of the team’s decision in the offseason to apply the franchise tag to Julius Peppers.

From Darin Gantt’s blog:

Where keeping Peppers mostly hurt them this year was in the way it robbed them of their depth … Without funds to adequately fill the backup positions, the Panthers are filling kick coverage and return units with odd parts, and guys who were never good special teamers to begin with. The fact that an undrafted rookie receiver such as Charly Martin can go from practice squad to active roster in a week speaks to special teams coach Danny Crossman’s desperation. He essentially is trying to play high stakes poker with Old Maid cards, and not surprisingly, it ain’t working.

I personally (like Jaxon says in his article) disagree with Gantt on this one. I think that the Panthers’ problems have little or nothing to do with Pep’s franchise tender. The only thing that signing Pep could have had a negative impact on would be the potential to sign or trade for a quarterback, but with Delhomme signing a 5-year extension in the offseason, I don’t think that was in the team’s plans for 2009 and beyond anyway.

My comments on Jaxon’s post at CSR:

I may be in the minority here…

But I actually wish we could have pulled off a trade for Cutler. He’s young, and is a definite upgrade over what we have now. I know that right now he’s sucking like a whore with a rent payment due, but he’s in Chicago with absolutely NO offensive line and no one to throw to other than a decent TE and a punt returner who decided that he wanted to try being a WR. Add in the fact that Forte has had a down year and it further compounds Cutler’s problems — he feels he HAS to make high-risk throws to make something happen, and he has failed this season.

(But when you think of it, Jake has done almost the exact same thing because of the poor play calling)

But, if you put Cutler behind our offensive line (obviously it would be even better with False Start Gross still in there — but it’s still better than what they have in Chi-town) with Smitty and Moose to throw to and Double Trouble to hand off to, and we have a completely different season right now — we’re probably sitting at 7-3 or 8-2 with a realistic chance at catching the Saints for the division — at least I think so.

So, I think the franchising of Pep was a bad idea when we could have possibly worked out a deal and got a franchise QB. (Correct me if I’m wrong, but doesn’t Denver play the 3-4? And Pep said he wanted to play for a team that uses the 3-4 — so Pep for Cutler would have been within the realm of possibility.) But, I do not think it is why we are 4-6 and on the brink of missing the playoffs. That, like has been stated already, is because of poor execution by the guys we do have, and the horrid coaching (particularly by everyone’s favorite offensive coordinator) that we have endured this season. Losing several key players (Kemo, Davis, Gross) to injury hasn’t helped matters much either.

Gantt is usually spot on in his analysis of the Panthers, but in this case I think he’s wrong. I think the fact that the Panthers didn’t go out and get a franchise quarterback (or a new offensive coordinator), along with the team’s lack of execution are the two main causes of the 4-6 record we have at this point.

But, I could be wrong. It’s not like I haven’t been before.

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Categories: Regular Season
  1. Evan "McSpazz" Edwards
    24 November 2009 at 3:08 PM

    If you took a poll here in Chicago right now most meathead Bears fans would trade you Cutler for a bag of balls. They fail to see that the team who has been searching for a franchise QB forever has been throw to the wolves by this very team.He would benefit from everything the Panthers have, Steve Smith although small plays like he is 6' 4" and 220 pounds, a real offensive line and most importantly two talented running backs that make everything in the passing game so much easier. My only reservation about him in Carolina would be the offensive coordinator who is much like the Bears coordinator, unimaginitive and predictable.What he has in Chicago is a college level offensive coordinator, a horrible offensive line, an average running back, below average receivers and worst of all expectations that were way to high for a team with so many holes.Got off track, but I agree that Peppers money hasn't been the main reason for the Panthers struggles. It is the inconsistency at the most important position on the field. Peppers has had a decent season and where would they be without him on defense. Delhomme gives the ball up way too much and when you do that you need as much defensive talent as you can grab.At least the Panthers fans can look forward to a new coaching staff next season for a more promising future. As it looks right now will be stuck with a lame duck coach for at least one more season and a young or dumb offensive coordinator looking to make a name for himself.

  2. bwsmith25
    24 November 2009 at 3:58 PM

    I hope the Panthers make some changes in coaching, but I think they will let the coaches have one more year and will let them slide by with the "we've battled injuries" excuse.As for the QB, I really hope they address that need in the offseason, because Delhomme is killing this team with his meltdown.

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