Panthers Better Not Go Cheap on RFA Tenders

The Panthers RFA tenders are due tomorrow and they have some interesting decisions. Though Darin Gantt thinks the Panthers only have one 'must keep' RFA (LB Thomas Davis) I think we could add two more to that list. Davis should get the high tender of a 1st and 3rd round pick. After that should the Panthers in turn put the same tag on these two players? Matt_moore_drop_back_medium

QB Matt Moore

Given the scarcity of decent quarterbacks on the market, the Panthers should at least use the $2.396million first-rounder, and weigh whether it's worth $3.043million to get a first and a third if someone signs him away.

It's hard to imagine a team would give up a 1st round pick for a UDFA QB but I'm not so sure. What if a team like the Redskins decides that Moore is better and certainly more experienced than any of their choices in this year's draft? Moore would certainly come a lot cheaper than the #4 pick. Now maybe you might jump at the chance but then know it would also guarantee Jake Delhomme as the starter at QB this fall. I'm not as down on that scenario as many on this site, particularly if it includes a 1st round pick but I still think Moore could be a starter for a number of years here. The Panthers have a really tough decision here.

CB Richard Marshall

Cornerbacks are in high demand this off-season

The Panthers should tender him at least at the first-round level ($2.521million) if not the first-and-third ($3.168million) if they want to keep him. Tendering even at the second-round level ($1.759million) might invite someone to make a run at him, and the Panthers probably couldn't replace his production with a second-rounder in this year's draft.

If the Panthers don't place a 1st round tender on Marshall (or even the higher 1st & 3rd) then I bet he gets a look from several teams. Marshall still has upside, is young but very experienced from his three seasons playing the nickel. Even a 1st round tender will have some risk as the Panthers don't have much experience behind Marshall. I would consider Marshall to be the 2nd riskiest loss with regards to being able to replale him behind Davis.

DT Lewis Leonard

Leonard might be an after thought to many but he presents an interesting decision.

They've tried negotiating something longer-term but don't seem interested in paying $1.684million for the second-round tender. Since he wasn't drafted, they'd get no compensation if they used the low tender of $1.101million. That, combined with his age (25) and the lack of quality defensive tackles on the market means the Panthers might be forced to match another team's offer if they want to keep him - and they do.

I'm sure whatever they have planned for Kemo will weigh in on this decision. If they think Kemo will fully recover and is worth his price they might place the lower tender on him. If they lose him then it would simply be a case of swapping a lower round (a 6th) for a higher round pick. If they throw a higher tender on Leonard it might indicate they might have plans to cut Kemo.

DT Tank Tyler

Unlike Leonard above Tyler carries some 'bust label' baggage and might be deemed expendable given the Panthers depth at the DT position with Lewis and Corvey Irvan competing for the same spot. Tyler may simply be a victim of the Cheifs 3-4 defense in which he did not fit but you have to wonder why they would trade a 3rd round selection for a 5th to a team desperate for DTs

Like Leonard, the trade acquisition showed promise before getting hurt. Now, he could become part of the long-term answer at the position. He could be the eventual replacement for Damione Lewis.

The thought of gaining a lower round pick if someone signs him is appealing. The Panthers have too many DTs on the roster assuming they only keep four so someone has to go. The signing of Ed Johnson doesn't help Tank's cause.

K Rhys Lloyd

If the Panthers don't tender this guy it makes you wonder if Kasay might be gone too:

He's very good at what he does, but he's the ultimate niche player. They have to keep him (or someone like him) as long as John Kasay's here kicking field goals. Lloyd's never inspired confidence kicking for points, and you have to wonder if he ever will...They've talked with his agent about options, which seems a sign they don't want to invest $1.101million in him. It wouldn't be hard to find someone cheaper.

How many more seasons will the Panthers continue to use two roster spots and the combined dollar value for the kicker position? My guess is at least one more.

So what do you guys think about the potential tenders?

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