It's been said that the Panthers 1st goal is to re-sign their own free agents, 2nd to extend the contracts of the Panthers top 2012 free agents. Here is a list of the Panthers 2012 free agents, current age, their current salaries (from Roto-World.com, and a guess at what amount they may seek to extend their contracts.
Name - Age - Salary - Extension Number (per season)
MLB Jon Beason - 26 - $1,338 million - Maybe around $7-8 million, but isn't he as valuable as Kalil ($10.51 mil)
MLB Dan Connor - 25 - $555,000 - Probably $2-3 mil, sign him now, while he's cheap.
S Charles Godfrey - 25 - $ 1.2 mil - Maybe around $3 mil, he may get more from other teams.
OG/OT Geoff Schwartz - 25 - $480,000 - Maybe around $2 mil now, but could doulbe by years end.
TE Jeremy Shockey - 30 - around $3 mill - It depends on how he plays this season.
TE Gary Barnidge - 25 -$555,000 - Unless he improves a lot he probably won't be re-signed.
RB Tyrell Sutton - 24 - $480,000 - It all hangs on what happens this year.
OG Maczenzy Bernadeau - 26 - $1.2 mil - How did his agent get that deal? It depends on his play thiis year.
DE Hilee Taylor - 25 - $555,000 - He may not even survive this years roster cut, minimum.
OT Gary Williams - 24 - $480,000 - Will he make this years roster? Minimum.
WR Wallace Wright - 27 - $840,000 - Does he make this years roster? Minimum.
WR Charly Martin - 27 - $480,000 - Does he make this years roster? Minimum.
LB Thomas Williams - $480,000 - No
LB Nick Harris - 24 - (ERA) - Maybe, at the minimum, if he plays well this year.
DT Nick Hayden - 25 - - -Only if he explodes this season.
The top 4 on the list are probably the only ones they need to sign now, the rest can wait till after the season. One of the MLB's needs to be signed before the end of the season, Beason may be the hardest to re-sign, but Connor want's to start, and probably won't re-sign unless he's a starter. If the Panthers lose an OLB in free agency, then they can dangle that starting spot to get him to sign, and if he doesn't sign, then trade him (if Beaason signs). This is a big year for Geoff Schwartz, and his price could really go up if he plays well, it would be smart to lock him up now. The Panthers may just let Godfrey play out 2011, to see how much he's worth, but they have little depth behind him (Pugh is it).