Earlier in the day, The Panthers re-signed Antwan Applewhite to a one year contract worth an undisclosed amount of money. I for one think that this signing is a big victory for Marty Hurney and The Front Office, as the Panthers will be retaining one of their only/best pass rushers from the 2011 season. Last season, Applewhite was signed as a free agent last October, after being dropped by the 49ers. Applewhite would see significant playing time in 12 games last year, accruing 25 Tackles, 2 Sacks, 1 Safety, and 1 Forced Fumble.
Hat tip to rscott94 for posting the news
Applewhite spent the first 3 years of his career with San Diego, and Coach Ron Rivera, after signing as an UDFA, out of the University of San Diego. With the Chargers, Antwan would see extensive time in the 3-4, amassing 3 Sacks in 2010, after receiving substantial playing time, due to an injury to Jyles Tucker, also now with the Panthers. At 6'3 258 lbs. Antwan Applewhite has good size and speed for a 3-4 OLB, and was instrumental in the Panthers 3-4 alignments. With the limited depth at Defensive End last season, Applewhite was the first defensive end to come off of the bench for the Panthers, receiving more playing time as the season progressed.
Last season, the Panthers had very little depth at DE, and the results were disseminated as the 2011 campaign marched on. Primarily playing every snap, Greg Hardy and Charles Johnson were seemingly burnt out by the fourth quarter of the season, depreciating the Panthers' pass rush, to the point of mediocrity. The re-signing of Antwan Applewhite, while important for the longstanding depth of the position, does not eliminate the need for another pass rusher. Going into 2012, Applewhite will likely play a significant role for the Panthers as Ron Rivera and the coaching staff, look to establish a solid rotation of defensive ends, and pass rushers capable of preventing the mediocrity we witnessed last season. Insofar, the Panthers have Charles Johnson, Greg Hardy, Antwan Applewhite, Jyles "Rattlesnake" Tucker, and Thomas Keiser under contract for the 2012 season.