Carolina Panthers: Top 3 Free Agents To Target This Offseason
If the Carolina Panthers earning a playoff berth with a losing record was wrong, then why did beating the Arizona Cardinals in the first round prove to be so right?
Everything in the last month of the NFL season went right for these Panthers, including four straight wins and victories over New Orleans and Atlanta to claim the NFC South Division. The running game found its mojo. The defense stood tall and beat down some of the top receivers in the game. And Cam Newton proved that even with the injury he suffered in a car accident, he could lead this team to the Promised Land.
Now, there needs to be more. A 7-8-1 regular season record will not sit well with the natives or management in 2015 and there must be improvements to the receiving corps, the offensive line and the secondary.
According to a report on ESPN.com, as it stands now the Panthers are about $10.5 million under the cap. But since we don't know what the 2015 salary cap is going to be, that is not a firm figure. In other words, it will go up. Their cap space will also go up if the Panthers opt to release veterans such as running back DeAngelo Williams and free safety Thomas DeCoud.
The good news for Carolina is it doesn't have a ton of its own free agents to re-sign as it did a year ago. The successful influx of young players late in the season also doesn't put as much urgency on spending big bucks on more than a few key positions, such as offensive tackle, wide receiver, and maybe cornerback. Ideally, general manager Dave Gettleman would like to have somewhere between $15 million and $20 million to spend. He should get in that range.
That could more than help this team compete for another division title. Here is a look at three free agents the Panthers should try to sign in offseason.