Unless the Panthers make some unexpected roster changes to free up some salary cap space they will not be big players in free agency. That doesn't mean the upcoming free agency period could not have a dramatic impact on the franchise. There area couple QBs out there who could end up at a couple QB starved teams that draft ahead or around the Panthers in April. I know many of you hope the Panthers can trade back from #8-9 to a QB starved team if there is a guy guy still on the board. Here's a couple free agents to keep an eye on:
These rumors started almost immediately after the Dolphins hired former Packer OC Joe Philbin:
"It would be a slam dunk," Packers broadcaster and former defensive back LeRoy Butler said. "All of those guys would be on the same page from day one."
If the Dolphins don't land Flynn then they would be a good candidate to move up for RG3. Even if they land Flynn I don't see the Dolphins competing with us at a defensive position since run a different scheme and they are strong in the secondary.
Peyton Manning to the Redskins
Picking at #6 the Redskins are the most likely team to trade up for RG3, but if they instead landed Peyton Manning in free agency then they would not need a QB:
According to a tweet from ESPN Anchor Bram Weinstein, Indianapolis Colts’ quarterback Peyton Manning – who missed the entire 2011 NFL season while recovering from one-level cervical neck fusion surgery – could be part of a package deal with Colts center Jeff Saturday to get shipped to the Washington Redskins.
I'm not sure why Jeff Saturday is being included in this rumor. If both the Dolphins and the Redskins solve their QB problems then you can bet RG3 ends up in Cleveland at #4. No one else would have the ammo to move up past Cleveland. Knowing they have no one to worry about moving up past them they simply wait at #4.
This is not a good scenario for the Panthers in my view. Without a need for a QB the Dolphins & Redskins would instead be drafting players that might interest the Panthers, like a DT or a CB. Both would also be trade back candidates if the Browns pass on RG3 themselves. Hence winning the toss with the Dolphins for #8 is a little more key than I thought it would be.