Jordan Gross still saying he’ll play for Panthers or retire

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The Panthers’ season came to an end with a 23-10 loss to the 49ers on Sunday, leaving the team’s 21 impending free agents to start pondering their futures.

For most of them, those thoughts will focus on whether or not they’re returning to the Panthers. For left tackle Jordan Gross, there will first be a decision about whether to play next year.

Steve Reed of the Associated Press reports that Gross reiterated Monday that he will contemplate retirement this offseason. And, just as he did before the season, Gross said that he’ll only play for the Panthers if he does return for the 2014 season.

It might be a good time to think about adding a potential replacement to use once Gross retires, but at least another year together seems like a good outcome on both sides. Gross is still playing at a high enough level at 33 that Carolina would probably be happy to secure his return before moving on to thornier roster issues and Reed reports that Gross said he still feels like he has tread left on the tires.