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Panthers don’t have many free agent concerns

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The Carolina Panthers made a lot of news after the lockout by keeping their own players.

Some of those moves worked out well, including the decision to keep Charles Johnson and not trade Steve Smith. Some contracts don’t look so great now — the deals for linebackers Thomas Davis and James Anderson.

After spending a lot of money last year, the Panthers don’t have to worry much about free agency this time around. The Charlotte Observer listed the team’s ten free agents, and ranked them in order of priority.

The team’s biggest priorities: tight end Jeremy Shockey, defensive end Antwan Applewhite, guard Geoff Hangarter, and linebacker Jordan Senn.

It’s a good sign when a decent backup tight end that is sometimes a headache for young quarterbacks looks like the team’s biggest priority. Applewhite is a part-time player; Hangarter is serviceable guard; and Senn is mostly a special teamer.

Carolina has a lot of money committed to the salary cap next year, but they could free up some dollars if they wanted to get aggressive on the open market. Even if they don’t get aggressive, they will easily bring back all the key players that helped Carolina finish the season 4-2 in their final six games. The team will also get defensive leader Jon Beason back from injury.

In short, it’s fair to raise expectations for the Panthers in Cam Newton’s second season.

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18 Responses to “Panthers don’t have many free agent concerns”
  1. screamingsheep69 says: Feb 12, 2012 3:11 PM

    What was wrong with the James Anderson signing? Played very well, I believe he led the team in tackles and was 6th in the league.

  2. dino2997 says: Feb 12, 2012 3:14 PM

    Awfully optimistic talk about a team that won only 6 games last season.

  3. joetoronto says: Feb 12, 2012 3:19 PM

    The Cats are looking mighty fine for next year.

  4. madenatewell says: Feb 12, 2012 3:37 PM

    James Anderson:
    145 Tackles
    1.5 Sacks
    3 Fumble recoveries
    2 INT’s

    Yeah, he’s terrible. Also, Thomas Davis’ deal wasn’t fully guaranteed with injury…they did put a lot of money on core players but they defiantly improved. Next year they need to finish games…

  5. andrejohnsonforpresident says: Feb 12, 2012 3:49 PM

    I wouldn’t really consider Thomas Davis a bust either. I see big things for this defense next season. If the panthers step up the way I think they should this might be a 3 way race at the end of the season for division leader.

  6. pilot2011 says: Feb 12, 2012 4:04 PM

    with the return of Beason and Thomas Davis, to go along with James Anderson, the Panthers will have their Defensive leaders and captains back on the field again… Bring in a Corner and D Tackle in the first 2 rounds of the draft and I have high hopes for this defense…

    The offense was already great, but I’m really wanting to see them after a real offseason.

    This team will be a perennial playoff contender.

    Charlotte Bobcats on the other hand……

  7. chadmurdigan says: Feb 12, 2012 4:09 PM

    Maybe Richardson will give Cam a bonus to chill it with his Superman BS and cultural icon desires.

  8. explosionsauce says: Feb 12, 2012 4:31 PM

    “In short, it’s fair to expectations for the Panthers in Cam Newton’s second season.”


    Maybe give us the long version next time.

  9. xofootballer says: Feb 12, 2012 4:47 PM

    LOVE the buildup of Panthers and Newton. Look forward to a Buccaneers-like fall from them in 2012. Remember them? “Up and coming’ coach/QB/team? Michael Wilbon on PTI predicting them to win division over Saints and Falcons?
    The 2012 Panthers won’t be as bad as the 2011 Bucs but they are never going to live up to the expectations that people have of Cam Newton. Second year in league, already nowhere to go but down thanks to everyone anointing the young QB a Superman.

  10. db3300 says: Feb 12, 2012 5:46 PM

    “LOVE the buildup of Panthers and Newton. Look forward to a Buccaneers-like fall from them in 2012.”

    You don’t follow the NFL do you? No offense to Carolina fans but you usually have to be standing higher than 6 wins to have a “Buccaneers-like fall”. Nice job, Einstein. I think the Colts are in for a Rams-like fall in 2012 if you’re a betting man.

  11. beauregard says: Feb 12, 2012 6:59 PM

    The NFL is clearly a league who’s teams are defined by by one prominent position; the starting QB. You can have talent many other places, but without a premier QB you’re not going to even make the playoffs.
    The Panthers are set at QB which puts them ahead of about 20 other teams. Now just fill in some key positions and see a perennial playoff team. Things will be just fine in Carolina.

  12. 1captain1 says: Feb 12, 2012 7:44 PM

    The new logo rocks.

    Now if they’d get rid of the silver and go to blue then they wouldn’t look like “copycats”

  13. thatdudewiththemarauder says: Feb 12, 2012 8:59 PM

    Is it possible for the Panthers to trade Cam to Washington for the next four years worth of 1st and 3rd rounder? I know I’m dreaming. You Panther fans are so lucky. HTTR!

  14. onegamedoesnotaseasonmake says: Feb 12, 2012 10:24 PM

    Panthers don’t have many free agent concerns


    Cause no one wants to go there?

  15. riderspantherssk says: Feb 12, 2012 11:17 PM

    James Anderson had a great season while holding up the linebackers through all the injuries. Why are you picking on him?

  16. slammincamnewton says: Feb 13, 2012 11:03 AM

    If Panthers had kept John Kasay, we’d be talking about a ten win playoff team rather than a 6 win team. Wanna free up cap space? Cut that loser Mare and his $4 million a year salary.

  17. chazatlas says: Feb 14, 2012 10:43 PM

    As much as I like them as players, I’m not sold on Beason or Davis returning to 80% or being able to complete the season.

  18. pantherdan says: Feb 16, 2012 2:46 AM


    What the hell are you talking about? The kid can play all three lb spots and covered for Beason just fine!

    You may mean Derek Anderson…as he simply did not play for the money spent…but he was not a bad deal, he was an insurance policy.

    I just do not get the BS that flies off of the page here sometimes!

    Yeah, so they lost out on Davis last year due to a bum knee…They paid him too much with the prior injury and there should have been a clause in his contract that could have save the team over $5 mil but there was not.

    Now this coming for Davis means things will change. I will bet you the big money disappears and he will sign for a million a year with all kind of incentives if he is able to play…The other option…he fails the physical and his career is over.

    The Panthers are just a SOLID (not perfect) DT, OT, CB, Healthy OLB and ONE PRIME WIDE RECEIVER AWAY FROM A SOUTH TITLE AND A DEEP RUN this coming season.


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