Halloween is a special time where a Carolina Panthers fan can sit around a campfire in some haunted woods, sharing spooky stories about Sean Gilbert and Jason Peter. Not even ten games into the 2012 season they're a team that now finds themselves without a general manager, lacking a clear direction, and nobody has any clue where this goes from here. Today we're looking at the three scariest things for the Carolina Panthers moving forward.
1. Aaaah! It's a yes man!
Worse than the boogie man, candy man, or wolf man is the far more prevalent 'yes man'. This is the general manager to-be who kowtows to ownership in order to get the job, with no desire to be an agent of change, or modify the culture. The yes man gets to hang on a really long time, but never really makes the franchise better.
It doesn't take an ancient power or lost relic to banish the yes man, all it takes is a little gumption and a lack of ego. So please, JR, from us to you-- make sure this hiring is someone who will challenge you, and your organization to get better.
2. A haunted contract situation!
As it stands there are 14 players who are set to become free agents next year... just 14. This isn't a whole lot when you look at a 53 man roster, and even less when you realize the highest contract set to expire is Captain Munnerlyn and his $1.3 million deal.
The total amount of the deals set to expire is right around $8 million, which is a drop in the bucket. Whoever takes over as general manager will need to get extremely creative, get contracts restructured, and find a way to free up more money to do something. The real issue is that the $8 million, paired with a meager cap increase will essentially be enough to fill those 14 spots with low-level free agents, and perhaps one mid-tier player-- exactly what the Panthers did last year. Furthermore, that's assuming every contract currently set to expire will not be renewed.
3. Three ghoulish draft classes
Know how many players remain on the Carolina Panthers from the 2009, 2010 and 2011 drafts? 11.
Yes, three drafts-- 23 picks total. 11 players remain just three years later.
Nobody said every pick should be a home run, but to see this many players either somewhere else, or out of the league in just a few seasons is the crux of why it was time to part ways with Marty Hurney. Thus far it looks like the 2012 draft was an excellent set of picks, but if the Panthers hope to seriously take the next step they need to get a legitimate 2nd or 4th round superstar in next year's draft. This will help them turn the corner, and find a way back to prominence.