When tasked with coming up with a signing the Carolina Panthers could make in free agency, it was almost like “The Night Before Christmas” as visions of Demarcus Lawrence, Ezekiel Ansah, or Jadeveon Clowney rushing the passer danced in the mind.
Unfortunately, the free-roam dream quickly crashed down to earth because, realistically, the Carolina Panthers have slim to no chance of acquiring those top pass-rushing talents.
Why? The answer is quite simple; they are cash strapped. They have players to re-sign and, furthermore, would lose out in a bidding war against other teams who have the same pressing need at pass rusher but also more money to burn.
So, the next best option seemed to be Trey Flowers, currently with the New England Patriots. Makes sense, right? He’s young, only just now in his prime, and he has performed solidly and consistently among various defensive line spots for the Patriots. Surely he would be a prime target of the Carolina Panthers, who are looking a young pass rush, right?
Here’s the problem. How many times have NFL fans seen a player coached up by Bill Belichick play his way off the Patriots and get a massive contract with another squad only to then massively under-perform? To put it simply, Belichick takes young hungry players who do not seem to work for other teams and finds a spot where they will work for him.
Now, let’s get one thing straight. Most Panther fans, and NFL analysts, for that matter, do project Flowers to be one of the Panthers’ prime targets, and it would come as no surprise to see him in black and blue next season. If he works out, great, but if he does as so many other former Patriots players have done and under-performs the big contract, then that bodes poorly for the 2019 season for the Panthers. Free agency and the draft are two things that the Panthers have to get correct, and there are two solid moves the Panthers can make that will set them up for this year’s draft and more importantly the future.
Part 2 of realistic moves the Carolina Panthers should make in Free Agency will be coming soon.