A year after finishing 7-9, the Carolina Panthers organization and fanbase knew that changes would be imminent.
The first line of business during the offseason was for owner David Tepper and general manager Marty Hurney to having a formal meeting with head coach Ron Rivera, giving the coach a vote of confidence and much-needed reassurance that he is involved in the team’s future plans.
The trio would also develop a plan for the upcoming offseason that would include getting younger, protecting Cam Newton, finding a pass rusher.
Next, to solve the Panthers aging issue. The Panthers had the fourth-oldest roster in the NFL (as of Sept. 2, 2018). To address this issue, the Panthers would have to bring themselves to terms with releasing fan-favorites including Thomas Davis (age 36), Mike Adams (37), and Captain Munnerlyn (30), while also recognizing the retirement of future Hall of Famer, Julius Peppers.
One of the bright spots in last year’s disappointing season was the emergence of D.J. Moore as a viable No. 1 receiver. With the success of Moore, it all but sealed the fate of former Panthers receiver Devin Funchess. Management had chosen to part ways with the inconsistent receiver after determining his market value wasn’t equal to his productivity on the field. In what some would call a stagnant free agency period for the Panthers, Hurney would be very meticulous in signing two critical players, Matt Paradis and Daryl Williams. Hurney continued to strike gold in free agency as he was able to acquire the services of defensive end, Bruce Irvin.
When it comes to delivering on their word, look to none other than Mr. Tepper. With such promises as new uniform combinations already being delivered, Tepper turns his sights on facility maintenance. The last renovations to Bank of America Stadium came more than five years ago, costing north of $75 million.
The Panthers are one of few teams in the league not to have an indoor practice facility. This month, the Panthers leaked a picture on Twitter of what seems to be the beginning renovations of a team practice field. Tepper and Hurney have put together a masterpiece of an offseason by both acquiring key pieces to fill much-needed holes and breaking ground on facility upgrades.
While the puzzle isn’t fully pieced together, you have to love the way things are coming together. Barring any setbacks, the 2019 Panthers could have one of the deepest rosters this team has seen in a long time.