Home > Offseason, Roster Moves > Panthers are going young in 2010 and beyond

Panthers are going young in 2010 and beyond

When the move to cut fan-favorite FB Brad Hoover becomes official this afternoon, the Panthers will be one of the youngest teams in the league. According to ESPN’s NFC South blogger Pat Yasinkas, the Panthers will only have three players on the roster who are 30 or older (two of which who don’t really count because they’re kickers).

Yasinkas:

After the last post on the Panthers reportedly cutting fullback Brad Hoover, I quickly grabbed a Carolina roster and started looking at ages that didn’t have two as the first digit.

As expected, I didn’t find many. In fact, I found fewer than I expected. If you take Hoover off the roster – and it looks like the Panthers soon will do that officially – there are only three players remaining who are not in their 20’s. [However, there are quite a few players who are in their late 20’s – it’s not like we have nothing but 21 year-olds on the roster for next season.]

They are: punter Jason Baker (31), kicker John Kasay (40) and [receiver] Steve Smith (30). At a time when the Panthers seem to be whacking anyone over 30, I think those three are safe.

Baker’s only a little over 30, he still is playing well and he’s a punter. Kasay is the last of the original Panthers and the same rules don’t apply to him as everyone else. Owner Jerry Richardson would never cut Kasay. The kicker’s going to decide how long he wants to play.

Smith isn’t going anywhere. He hasn’t shown any signs of slowing down. Besides, if it ever came down to it, who would have the guts to tell Smith he’s cut?

I know these cuts are financially motivated, and I know that the Big Cat doesn’t want to spend money on players who are getting up there in football years when there are younger capable backups ready to play, but I still wish there could have been a way for Hoover to remain on the team – primarily because now I can’t use “Hoover the Mover” anymore.

But one thing is certain: 2010 is sure to be an interesting year. I’m excited to find out what these young guys can do, and it may cost the team a 4-12 season in 2010 to find out, but I think in 2011 and beyond this team will be ready to dominate with the young and experienced nucleus that is being built.

And in 2013 when we have won 3 straight Super Bowls, I’m confident that will all look back on this day and laugh when we thought the world was coming to and end in Pantherville.

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