I just came across a very interesting post at RotoWorld.com, from a report by CSN Bay Area. It's sort of a followup/add on to the earlier report that The Raiders have cut CB Stanford Routt (6-1, 195), to create salary cap room. The report is under the heading of Raiders FS Michael Huff.
Now, the news. The report by CSN Bay Area states that 5 more Raiders are likely on their list to be cut, starting FS Michael Huff, starting DT Tommy Kelly, DT John Henderson, CB Chris Johnson, and G Cooper Carlisle.
The Free Agent who might be of interest to the Panthers is starting DT Tommy Kelly (6-6, 300). Kelly is 31 years old, but that's younger than Panthers DT Ron Edwards, who would have to be traded to make room for Kelly any way. Kelly's 2012 salary is to be $6 million, and that's why Edwards $2,533,333 salary would need to be cut, to create some cap room. The important thing about Kelly is his inside pass rushing ability, with 7.5 sacks in 2011, and 7.0 sacks in 2010. If Kelly is cut, and he clears waivers, at his age, maybe the Panthers could sign him for less money (maybe $4-5 mil.). Here are Kelly's stats for the last season (in addition to his sacks), (2010 60 tackles) 41 tackles, 2 forced fumbles, 5 passes defended, and 1 int.
The Panthers biggest need is an improved pass rush, and even more important an improved pass rush from the DT's. I would prefer a younger veteran DT than Kelly, but no affordable Free Agent DT is as productive. Amobi Okoye of the Bears did have 4 sacks in 2011, is much younger, and might only be around half the cost, but he's also less than half as effictive a pass rusher, in his career.
DT Tommy Kelly's strong inside pass rush would help open things up for CJ and Hardy at the DE's. Kelly could also be a great bridge if the Panthers were to draft a very raw rookie DT like Brockers, who only had 2 college sacks, and will likely need a few years to develop as an NFL pass rusher.