But he can’t deny it didn’t cross his mind, when he drafted to one of the deepest positions on his roster in the middle of a negotiation that has become complicated.
Asked by Bill Voth of Black and Blue Review whether he considers the contract status of his current roster when weighing his draft board, Gettleman replied: “Sometimes. Yes and no.”
Gettleman insisted that Butler “was too good” to bypass with the 30th overall pick, comparing it to selecting linebacker Shaq Thompson last year as a bit player/eventual replacement for Thomas Davis despite other positional needs.
“Looking at the roster, did we need another defensive tackle? People can argue ‘no.’ But you know how much I believe in the front. You know how much I believe it’s a big man’s game and [coach] Ron [Rivera] is right there with me.”
So whether Short and the Panthers can agree on a long-term deal or not, in the short term, they’ve added a potential difference-maker inside, who will work with Short and Star Lotulelei and veteran Paul Soliai to give the Panthers one of the deepest interiors in the game.
“If you look at the Super Bowl teams, the fronts on both sides of the ball are pretty damn good. You aren’t getting there with a crappy front on either side of the ball. At some point in time, you’re going to get caught,” Gettleman said. “You can fool people for a while, but when you get into the playoffs, it’s a whole different game.
“If you can believe it — it’s faster, it’s quicker, it’s more violent, it’s all those things. And if you don’t have big, powerful men on both sides of the ball, you’re gonna go home. You’re gonna go home sad.”
But by drafting Butler, Gettleman also gave himself some cover in case his discussions about money with Short leaves someone disappointed — which is likely to be Short since Gettleman has dug in about his perception of value.