After our divisional season review podcasts, we are now looking to the future and asking where each franchise goes from here. We put ourselves in the chair of being GM or the owner and going over what moves we would make in order to win a Superbowl, make the playoffs or just regain some pride…
Today we take a look a the Carolina Panthers.
How Did Last Season Go?
7-9. Is there a more 7-9 team than the Panthers at the moment? They just don’t inspire me at all… yeah they’ve got good players here and there but I don’t find them exciting at all.
Sorry Panthers fans, I just don’t.
It all looked bright and rosy through the first 9 weeks as they went 6-2… the playoffs were well and truly on as Atlanta were falling to pieces (almost literally) and then came the cliff edge…
Seven. Straight. Losses.
I mean, can any team survive that kind of negative streak? [insert wheels coming off .gif].
Cap space: $3.8m
Draft picks (7): Round 1, 16th overall, round 2, 47th overall, round 3, 77th & 100th overall, round 4, 115th overall, round 5, 154th overall, round 6, 187th overall.
Franchise legend, Julius Peppers has retired, as has Ryan Kalil. Devin Funchess has gone off to be tall and slow elsewhere.
Mike Adams has gone, Thomas Davis too and also kicker Chandler Catanzaro.
Aside from that all we have is a bunch of roster fillers who are now out of the picture in Carolina.
So the big question is, what effect will this have moving forward? Well, in my opinion very little. Yes, they will miss Peppers and Davis in terms of their veteran leadership and the culture that they help instil in the locker room but at the end of the day, on the field, their production is pretty replaceable, even if they are franchise greats.
The big news is that Eric Reid wasn’t allowed to leave the building and will continue to be “randomly” drug tested for the duration of his three year deal and probably for the rest of his career… Although that’s another subject altogether.
However, forget Reid or Peppers and all the rest,the biggest news of them all is that, Efe Obada will continue to fly the British flag in the NFL in Carolina for at least one more year and will visit London when the Panthers play in the UK in the 2019 international series.
I know Obada isn’t a huge star or even a household name in the league but I, for one, think it’s great that there’s a pathway for players in the UK and it needs players with Efe Obada and others to light the way.
I know it’s only a one year pact but hopefully Efe continues to make an impact and further his career.
The big signings are Center Matt Paradis and pass rusher Bruce Irvin. Both have come in on reasonable deals and will make a fair impact. I particularly like Pardis as he’s one of the league’s better centers and Carolina has to do a better job of protecting Cam Newton moving forward.
They could certainly look to beef up the line early on in the draft and this could be done by grabbing a tackle or a guard at 16 and that could be a pretty sweet spot for someone like Garrett Bradbury or Chris Lindstrom or Andre Dillard or Dalton Risner for tackles.
If they don’t choose to add to the line, how about adding to Cam Newton’s weapons? I know Christian McCaffrey is going to be the centerpiece of the offense but as things stand, Jarius Wright is WR2 on the depth chart with DJ Moore leading the way there… I mean, I won’t say the pass attack because that’ll also be McCaffrey.
Outlook For Next Year
Meh, probably another .500, there or thereabouts campaign with more tantrums from Cam Newton whilst he wears ridiculous outfits in his post game press conference? Yeah, I’m truly sorry, I’m just not getting excited about the Panthers.
If they have a killer draft I’ll get excited because any team that drafts a group of good young players always peak my interest.
7-9. Maybe 8-8. As we’ve been saying, the NFC South have a tough schedule this year and they’ll beat each other up too.
CMC is going to be a PPR monster and will be a top option in all formats. Newton will need to cut the turnovers out if he is going to do anything other than flatter to deceive, again. DJ Moore could be decent in the later rounds too.