Scraping the bottom of the WR barrel?

Someone tell me that John Fox and Marty Hurney know what they're doing.  I know we need a blocking wide receiver who can run good routes, but it would be nice to get one who could maybe catch a pass as well, right?  According to this article, that's not necessarily the route the Panthers are taking.

The free agent market for Wide Receivers hasn't been strong this year, and most of the big names come with price tags the Panthers aren't willing to pay.  But they may have found a familiar name in the bargain bin, one who already knows the offense.

The Carolina Panthers announced Thursday that they have recently been in communication with former Wide Receiver Keary Colbert about a return to Charlotte.  Colbert, 27, is a sixth year pro originally drafted by the Panthers and released at the end of the 2007 season.


I know that he knows the offense, and I know he did well in his only gig as the Panthers starting receiver.  I also know that he smiles too big and too bright when the ball sails through his hands. 

If you're new to the Panthers, the article provides a little backstory:

Colbert was the Carolina Panthers' second round pick in the 2004 NFL Draft.  As a rookie, he was forced to step into the 2nd receiver spot when Steve Smith was injured. He filled in admirably, posting 47 catches for 754 yards and 5 touchdowns.  This led to high expectations for his sophomore campaign, one in which he struggled.  In 2005 he caught only 25 passes for 282 yards and just 2 touchdowns in a reserve role.

Colbert spent most of 2006 battling injuries while playing behind newcomer Keyshawn Johnson.  In limited action he made just five receptions, four of them going for first downs.  In 2007 he was injured again after rebounding somewhat for 32 receptions in a reserve role.  He finished the season on Injured Reserve, and was released when the team re-signed Muhsin Muhammad to play across from Steve Smith.

So is it real?  Colbert recently joined the USC football team as their Tight Ends coach, but he played last year in Detroit so it's possible that football isn't out of his system yet.

Colbert himself was unavailable to comment on the potential deal, but on his twitter feed he did make mention that he would "need to work out my number situ with Charly Martin".  Martin currently wears #83, which was Colbert's number when he played in Carolina.

Carolina coach John Fox refused to comment on the situation, other than saying, "Keary is a good player, and if he's a Panther next year we'll be happy to have him."

On the prospect of Colbert returning, Carolina QB Matt Moore was asked to comment, and said, "Keary caught my first real NFL pass in New Orleans, so you know I'm a fan.  Honestly, I'm pretty happy to see him back. He kind of got lost in the shuffle in a numbers game, but he runs good routes and blocks well.  He's also a good guy in the locker room.  I think he can step right in and be a real contributor."

Anyone know where that "Do not want" dog picture is?  After reading this story I think I am going to need it...

Posted: April 1st, 2010

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