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Chris Harris traded to Chicago

27 April 2010 Leave a comment

Update: According to the Charlotte Observer, it’s a good thing we traded Hitman, because apparently the team was prepared to release him. They allegedly tried to trade him during draft weekend, but no teams had anything to offer in return. If this is true, then it is good that we traded him instead of releasing him outright. Getting a backup linebacker who may only play special teams is better than getting nothing, and if he becomes a starter then it ends up being a great decision by the front office.

* * * *

Sometimes it really sucks when I have to type transactions that have been made, and this is one of those times. But today, the Panthers have traded SS Chris Harris to the Bears for LB Jamar Williams, according to a report by ESPN. This will be Harris’ 2nd stint with the Bears, who drafted him in the 6th round in the 2005 draft.

Harris had announced on his Twitter page earlier in the day that he was being sent back to Chicago, but I didn’t want to believe it at first because he is a really good football player and a frequent contributor at CSR, but it appears that Panthers Nation will have to cope with the loss of Hitman and prepare to welcome Williams into the fold.

Charles Godfrey is the most logical player to replace Harris at SS, with 2nd year FS Sherrod Martin moving into the starting lineup. Jamar Williams looks to compete with Dan Connor and Charles Johnson for the OLB position during training camp.

Thanks for the memories Hitman, you will be missed.

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Panthers sign kick off specialist

The Panthers have apparently solved the “who will replace Rhys Lloyd as kick off specialist” dilemma by signing Todd Carter to a 1-year contract at the league minimum [$320K]. Rhys Lloyd would have cost the team approximately $1.1M this season, so they decided that a KOS just wasn’t worth that much money and went with the cheaper option.

Scott Fowler of Carolina Growl:

The Carolina Panthers signed a potential replacement for kickoff specialist Rhys Lloyd on Tuesday, adding kicker Todd Carter of Grand Valley State. Carter, who played at Grand Valley from 2005-2008, converted 12 of 17 field goals and 56 of 58 extra points as a senior. However, leg strength is his forte and he has a chance to replace Lloyd, who signed as a free agent this off-season with Minnesota, in the kickoff role.

Whew! I’m glad that crisis is averted. I don’t know what I would have done had the team entered training camp with no kick off specialist. In the event Carter doesn’t work out, it appears that punter Jason Baker would then handle kick off duties for 2010.

Categories: Offseason, Roster Moves Tags:

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.

The cuts keep coming

5 March 2010 6 comments

Jerry Richardson must be doing some serious spring cleaning, as three more players have been cut from the roster today.

So far, the list of released players includes:

Jake Delhomme – QB
Damione Lewis – DT
Ma’ake Kemoeatu – DT
Landon Johnson – LB
Na’il Diggs – LB

I have no idea who else will be cut, if any one is cut, or what the reasons (other than money) behind these cuts are. But right now, it looks like if you are a Panthers’ seasoned veteran making more than the minimum salary, your job is in danger of being taken away. I knew the front office wanted to go younger, but I didn’t expect this.

More to come later as the day unfolds and more moves are revealed.

Panthers cut Jake Delhomme

4 March 2010 2 comments

I never thought I would type this next sentence. The Carolina Panthers have cut quarterback Jake Delhomme, and will buy out the remainder of his near $13M guaranteed contract. (ESPN article here.)

From a business standpoint, this makes sense: there is no salary cap for 2010, so the team could absorb the money and move on with Matt Moore under center. But, from a personal standpoint: I’m a little saddened, because Delhomme has always been a class act, and he will be remembered as one of the better quarterbacks in franchise history.

But, the NFL isn’t about feelings – it’s about winning, and at the present time, Matt Moore gives this team the best chance to win (unless they’re working out a trade for Peyton Manning or something, which I very highly doubt would be the case).

Best of luck Jake, you were one of the good guys.

In other news: the Panthers have also released DT Damione Lewis, which is a bit of a surprise. The Panthers have a lot of young depth at the position, and will apparently look to add the younger guys into the rotation for 2010.

Categories: Offseason, Roster Moves Tags:

The Panthers will not franchise Peppers

23 February 2010 2 comments

According to the team’s Twitter page, GM Marty Hurney announced today that the franchise tag will not be applied to DE Julius Peppers. Franchising him would cost the team more than $20M this season, and Peppers was apparently unwilling to sign a long term deal (at least that’s what his agent said).

With this move, Peppers will become an unrestricted free agent and will go to the highest bidder (or whichever team offers him money – whatever the case may be). The Panthers are not expected to offer him a contract.

Hurney also announced that both DeAngelo Williams and Jonathan Stewart had successful surgeries, but it is not known if they will be available for mini-camp.

The injuries just keep coming

16 December 2009 Leave a comment

The Panthers have placed RT Jeff Otah on injured reserve, ending his season.

Sometimes, you just have to accept the fact that your team is going to be one of the unfortunate ones to suffer through an injury-ridden season, and you have to accept the fact that your team will not perform up to the standard that you had set for them at the beginning of training camp.

I knew it was a bad sign when Ma’ake Kemoeatu went down on the first day of training camp (the first day!) with a season ending ACL injury, but I never would have imagined that injuries would have dominated the Panthers this season the way they ruthlessly have.

Take a look at this list of players:

Ma’ake Kemoeatu
Josh McCown
Louis Leonard
Thomas Davis
Jordan Gross
Jeff Otah
Jake Delhomme
Chris Harris
Charles Godfrey
Deangelo Williams
Julius Peppers1

Do you notice a common thread among these players? These are all players that have missed at least 1 game due to injury this season or have been placed on IR.

This is not just some random group of people — we’re talking about the anchors of the offensive line (Gross and Otah), one half of the most important part of the offense (Williams), and three of the leaders on defense (Peppers, Davis, and Harris) — and not to mention the starting and backup quarterbacks2.

Have the Panthers played up to expectations? No, of course not. But, they have had a lot to deal with this season: poor quarterback play, terrible coaching and game-planning, and key players missing due to injuries. It’s really no surprise that they are 5-8 and out of contention for the playoffs.3

Oh well, there’s always next year I guess.

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1 – Peppers didn’t miss any games due to injury, but he was only available on obvious passing situations (ie – 3rd and long) for two weeks because of a broken hand.

2 – Ok, I will admit this one isn’t that bad, but still — if I’m going to make excuses for why the Panthers suck this year, I might as well milk it as much as I can.

3 – They’re still mathematically alive at this point, but a lot has to happen for them to sneak in the back door and take the 6 seed — so much that I don’t see it happening and have prepared myself to jump on a bandwagon once the playoffs start.