Four times in recent memory, a team tried to stash a player on IR, only to have another team claim him off waivers before they could.
Three times, the Patriots did the claiming. Twice now, they’ve done it to Dave Gettleman’s employer.
The Panthers General Manager was philosophical about losing sixth-round pick Tyler Gaffney to the Patriots.
“This is a very competitive business, and people are going to try to improve their team within the rules,” Gettleman said, via Joe Person of the Charlotte Observer. “And this is within the rules.”
Asked if he was upset the Patriots claimed Gaffney, Gettleman replied: “It’s business.”
It was also business when the Patriots claimed tight end Jake Ballard off waivers from the Giants in 2012 when Gettleman worked there.
And it was business when the Patriots claimed safety Josh Barrett off Broncos waivers in 2010, and when the Jaguars claimed Don Carey off waivers from the Browns in 2009, when both players were injured.
Ultimately, none of those players proved to be difference-makers, and Gaffney might not either.
The Panthers drafted him with the future in mind, but their present depth is the reason they needed a body.
With Jonathan Stewart out a few weeks with a hamstring strain and veterans DeAngelo Williams and Mike Tolbert getting days off in practice, the Panthers felt they needed to bring in Fozzy Whittaker rather than carry an injured Gaffney on the roster for four weeks until they could safely put him on IR.
It was a bit of a risk, a pick and $96,600 in signing bonus that everyone would play nice.
Everyone did not.