Rucker Plans to Play in 2008

As reported by Charlotte.com the agent for Panthers DE Mike Rucker says his client will play in 2008.

"Mike is fired up, motivated and looking forward to continuing his career," Schaffer said. "It's 100 percent."

I’m not sure how I feel about this. If the Panthers make him an offer I’m sure it would be a pay cut which he may not like. If he wants to compete for a starting spot then fine but I’m worried the Panthers would still have that incumbent mentality meaning the spot is his to lose.

I would like to see some new blood at the DE position. We either need to bring in a FA (like Jared Allen) or spend a high draft pick on it. I’m not sold on either Stanley McClover or Charles Johnson being the answer. Both would be adequate back-ups behind Peppers and a free agent.

If Rucker is open to reduced playing time and a smaller pay check then he could very easily stay with the Panthers. I’m sure he’ll feel out the market before committing to the Panthers. I can’t imagine another team giving him starters money given his injury in 2006 and lack of production in 2007. He can still make a million bucks next season playing less minutes which is what I would do. Time will tell.

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