Since Cam Newton was drafted there has been a collective thought that the Carolina Panthers need to find a veteran QB to help mentor the young QB. This would entail helping him identify defensive tendencies, aiding in winning over the locker room and acclimating to NFL life. While the Panthers will lean heavily on Mike Shula to hone Newton's mechanical skills, there are some things that a coach can't teach; this is where a vet comes in.
What if I were to tell you that a QB could come available who is a former pro bowler, has a career 59.3% completion mark, and has three four seasons of passing for more than 3,000 yards? Does that sound like a player who would be appealing for this organization?
That player is Jake Delhomme, and though his name conjures up all sorts of images and emotions on both sides of the fence I think if you look at the move clinically it starts to make a lot of sense. We'll look into this option more...
After the jump
Reports out of Cleveland are suggesting that Delhomme could be granted a release by the front office if he would become the team's third option at the QB position. With Colt McCoy cemented as starter it now appears that Seneca Wallace will be relied on as the Browns' backup. This leaves Delhomme in the untenable position of third wheel when he would have value as a veteran backup.
We've batted around a lot of names here at CSR: Marc Bulger, Kerry Collins, Billy Volek... but really, none of those players have an inner track to the workings of not only the Panthers' organization, but it's more mercurial players (read Steve Smith) than Delhomme. Furthermore, if there's one thing that's clear it is that Delhomme still has a great deal of love and appreciation for Carolina. This is the kind of relationship that would breed a natural willingness to help the front office achieve their goals.
Detractors will probably scoff at the idea, but we're not talking about Delhomme coming to Charlotte and starting, and when you couple this with understanding that John Fox is gone you realize there's very little chance Delhomme would lead the Panthers onto the field again. What Delhomme is, however, is a man who wont be a distraction, who will still patiently hold a clipboard if Cam Newton is struggling, he'll gladly go over photos with him just as he did with Matt Moore and he'll immediately give Cam an 'in' to working out what makes his new teammates tick.
When Jake Delhomme gave his tearful goodbye to Carolina there was an overwhelming sentiment from the fan-base that he should retire a Panther. This move could achieve that end, as well as letting Delhomme really pass the torch and bridge the gap to the Cam Newton era.