Panthers Pro Bowl LT Jordan Gross has something to play for today in the Pro Bowl. Unlike most of his teammates today Gross is hopefully in contract negotiations with the Panthers as I write this. If Gross has a big game it will give him more leverage to ask to be the highest paid LT in the league.
On the other hand if he has a bad game, it may give the Panthers more justification to low ball him. I can imagine that getting Gross signed it top priority for the Panthers, a notion so obvious it may be adding to the current stalemate. The fact Gross is still unsigned going into the Pro Bowl makes me wonder which side wanted to wait until after this game?
In my view Gross has nothing to gain from this game as left tackles are more likely to be noticed for a poor game than a good game. He will either line up across from Dwight Freeney or Mario Williams, more than likely Freeney. This is a good match-up for Gross since Freeney is no spring chicken and he is more of a speed rusher. Gross played well against the speed rushers this past season.
Though I think I've stated on this blog I wouldn't watch today's Pro Bowl I think I've just given myself a reason to watch at least the first half. I'm curious to see how Panthers prodigal son Julius Peppers does in his match-up with LT Joe Thomas. I'm not sure how I feel about that one; should Peppers play well it increases his trade value but for some reason I may find that hard to do.
If you hang around to the 2nd half you'll see other Panthers Jon Beason and Steve Smith. I'm sure both will represent us well.
For those of you planning to watch the game, what are you hoping to see from our Panthers?
Let's now call this an open thread for the Pro Bowl: