Hey my Panther Brethren, now that the Super Bowl is over and we have the entire offseason to debate what picks will be made come draft day and who to sign in FA, I'd like to take a look at the FA QB class of 2011. This past season as many of you know was very frustrating when it came to the QB position and, rightfully so, many of us want someone brought in that can either: compete with our guys and make them and possibly BE 'the guy', or bring in a mentor type QB who can teach and guide our QBs through the finer points of being an NFL Quarterback. We'll take a look at all the possible options that the Panthers could go with at QB and all their pros and cons.
Our first QB is one that could fit the mentor role on the Panthers. Hasselbeck helped lead the Seahawks to the Super Bowl in 2005 where they lost to the Pittsburg Steelers. He has been a mainstay in Seattle but has struggled mightily with injuries in the past two seasons. Hasselbeck has a strong arm and moderate scrambling ability and has seem some success in the NFL. Though his 2010 stats were less than impressive: throwing for 3,001 yds 12 TDs and 17 INTs he was still able to lead the Seahawks to a surprising playoff berth being the first 7-9 team to host a playoff game. He's getting up there in age but I he would be a reliable back-up and, having gone through many rough times of his own, could be a perfect mentor for Jimmy Clausen and Tony Pike.
Volek is another QB that could fit the mentor role on the Panthers roster. Having played 7 seasons for the Titans and 5 seasons with the Chargers the guy has been around for a while. And though he only threw for 249 yds 1 TD and 2 INTs in five years with San Diego, he has had the opportunity to back up players like Steve McNair and Phillip Rivers. He has the experience and knowledge that could serve Clausen and Pike well and help them both have a smoother progression into the NFL.
Bulger, again, is another QB who could come in and mentor our young QBs. He had some success in St. Louis from 2002 to 2006 having his best year stats-wise in 2006 when he threw for 24 TDs and only 6 INTs posting a QB rating of 92.9. Though after that season he gradually regressed before finally being released by the Rams in 2009 and then picked up by the ravens. When he played well, he brought the good stuff, but I can't help but wonder if it was all a product of the system that he was in. Either way, Bulger would be a reliable option and an adequate option to mentor our young QBs.
Gradkowski is the first QB that we'll look at that could come in and actually compete for a starting role and essentially provide some competition for Clausen and Pike while also giving us a team player that would be willing to mentor even if relegated to a back-up role in our offense. Gradkowski's 2010 stats don't really offer a true measuring stick to his abilities. He threw for 1,059 yds 7 TDs and 9 INTs in 6 games in 2010 and though that may not look very good on paper that guy has some awesome intangibles. He has very good pocket presence and knows how to get the ball out in time and can definitely rally the troops and inspire his teammates to play hard for him. He would be a very reliable back-up and even an adequate starter if he wins the starting role in TC.
This is the last QB that I believe would be a good option to sign in FA. He was the back-up to Matt Hasselbeck from 2003 to 2009 before joining Cleveland in 2010. He is a very mobile QB with moderate arm strength and has been reliable when filling in for either Hasselbeck in Seattle or proving better than Delhomme in Cleveland. He's had many good games for Seattle and I still believe that he could be an adequate starter somewhere else. Coming to Carolina he would definitely push Clausen and Pike for the starting role. He's a passionate team player that would be a reliable back and good starting option here.
So there are the QBs i believe would best fit the situation we have here with the Panthers. Who do you think would be the best fit or do you think someone else would be better suited for our situation???