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Panthers ignore needs, but draft for future cap flexibility

Kenjon Barner AP

The Panthers did the opposite of drafting for need on the third day of the NFL Draft, picking guys to the two of the deepest positions on their roster.

But by using a fifth-rounder on Iowa State linebacker A.J. Klein, and a sixth on Oregon running back Kenjon Barner, they gave themselves some flexibility in future seasons.

New Panthers general manager Dave Gettleman wasn’t able to make many significant changes this offseason because of contracts he inherited from the Marty Hurney administration. And he didn’t draft anyone to fix a bad secondary, or a developmental receiver.

But in 2014, when they’re a year removed from potentially crippling cap damages, they’ll be more able to take deals such as linebacker Jon Beason’s or running back DeAngelo Williams’s off the books, and Saturday’s picks offer cover.

Beason’s old contract extension became an albatross when he tore his Achilles in 2011 and then limped through knee and shoulder problems last year, and he’s playing outside now. Williams might have been the worst of their post-lockout splurges, as the Panthers were eager to shed a reputation for pre-lockout cheapness.

They’re still on the roster at the moment because they can play, but also in part because it would cost too much against the cap to cut them.

But with linebacker Luke Kuechly and running back Jonathan Stewart on hand, the Panthers are covered at Beason and Williams’ old spots for 2014, and Klein and Barner could step into bigger roles down the road, when the Panthers start sloughing off previous deals.

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14 Responses to “Panthers ignore needs, but draft for future cap flexibility”
  1. nfloracle says: Apr 27, 2013 5:21 PM

    In so many, many ways the Panthers are the Jets of the NFL South…

    … head coach probably gone after this season
    … owner’s main interest is making more money
    … GM anxious to dump current coach
    … cap problems up the yazoo
    … questionable maturity and leadership at QB
    … going 8-8 will be a miracle
    … etc, etc, etc

    It’s going to be another long and disappointing year for fans of the Panthers and the Jets.

  2. wisewoo says: Apr 27, 2013 5:25 PM

    Are you kidding? The RB drafted will never be your I-formation guy, 3 down-back.. He’s all about being a weapon. Think Darren Sproles.

    But he’s definitely not a “replacement” for D. Williams…

  3. pilot2011 says: Apr 27, 2013 5:56 PM

    and another disappointing year for nfloracle trying to get a female to look at him.

    you suck dude.

  4. cpanthers1 says: Apr 27, 2013 5:57 PM

    Had a chance to get Rambo in the 6th and blew it on a guy who will not dress. Rambo could comepete and probably could be a starter compaired to what we have at safty. Last two picks pointless and will be lucky to make the team.

  5. lennydpocketqb says: Apr 27, 2013 6:03 PM

    Let’s move the Panthers to L.A.!!!

  6. sportsmeccabi says: Apr 27, 2013 6:17 PM

    Or maybe he didn’t see a player for a need that could be effective and both Barner and Klein happened to be on top the board?

    Over-analyzing a 5th and 6th round pick is a little ridiculous if you ask me.

    And for the guy comparing us to jets, the games we lost was done by 6 points or less excluding the giants game. Going 8-8 won’t be a miracle.

  7. finleye says: Apr 27, 2013 6:21 PM

    sure, the Panthers are like Jets…except with a QB worth his contract

  8. deaconbluesnc says: Apr 27, 2013 6:26 PM

    Jerry Richardson can’t get off Earth fast enough.

  9. dallascowboysdishingthereal says: Apr 27, 2013 7:55 PM

    They ran Hurney out of town for this? The secondary is still a hot mess and is why they lost games last year anyway. There were prospects that could help needs but they get yet another RB and another LB?

    This draft had plenty of quality safeties and WRs which they need but Gettleman drafted none of them.

    But he did get two fat DTs to plug up the middle. Nice. Someone let Gettleman know it’s a passing league now.

  10. wisewoo says: Apr 27, 2013 8:06 PM

    The Panthers are like the Jets? Hmmm…

    Matt Ryan is that you?

    I think Greg Hardy would like to speak with you outside.

  11. sportsnut101 says: Apr 27, 2013 8:51 PM

    Wow what a draft for these guys. U sucked last yr with overpaid guys.

    Why didn’t u try to trade them

  12. redpillmindstate says: Apr 27, 2013 9:25 PM

    Would it really have killed them to at least try and get a damn safety!…jeesh one thing they are famous for is subpar drafts …it must be something in the Charlotte water in that it prevents their professional sports franchises from putting together something that resembles a meaniful draft that just doesn’t consist of a few good pieces here and there but no obvious sense of direction or even some type of philosophy of how those particular pieces fit together …..come on Nakamura cost at least four games with his garbage ass that could have put us in the playoffs if it was not for blown coverage and poor ball tracking at safety ..Im so disappointed so damn disappointed…like Barner thought but otherwise disappointed…

  13. wwttww says: Apr 28, 2013 12:08 AM

    Charlotte. The new Atlanta of the 80′s.

  14. theguyfromtampa says: May 3, 2013 1:10 AM

    Thank you Panthers, for helping every team you are up against. Next time it would be a good idea to fix your problems. They wont go away by ignoring them.

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