The Panthers are under the cap, but head coach Matt Rhule and General Manager Scott Fitterer didn’t sound like they were planning to come out of the gate in buying mode when free agency opens next week.
Rhule said at a Wednesday press conference that the Panthers are not “one player away” and have to be “really targeted” so that they can continue building their team in the right way. Fitterer suggested that the shrunken cap and waiting for the first wave to pass could work to their advantage.
“We’ll talk to a lot of agents starting on Monday and see where the market is,” Fitterer said, via the team’s website. “However, I think this might be one of those years where if you just wait and are patient, you might be able to get quite a few players in that middle class who get pinched by the cap this year. Even though we’ve created a lot of cap room, this is not a year we’re going to go wild spending money. We’re going to be very judicious in how we go about this.”
The patient approach to free agency may not extend to the team’s approach to the quarterback market, especially if the Texans should change their tune on dealing Deshaun Watson, but that would only prove that there are exceptions to every rule.