Munnerlyn Followed His Heart & One Year Deal

Matt Sullivan

Panther CB Captain Munnerlyn is happy to be back in Carolina and contrary to common belief he preferred the one year deal. He also wanted the chance to play on the outside, something he would not have had in Chicago.

Munnerlyn in the end followed his heart:

"My heart is in Carolina," he said. "The situation in Carolina is perfect for me. They let Chris Gamble go, and he ended up retiring. This is my chance to be the No. 1 guy. "I had other offers, Chicago and some other teams. But I didn't want to go to Chicago and sit behind two Pro Bowl cornerbacks. They wanted me to be a nickel."

He does come back as an incumbent though in exactly what position is up in the air.

We had thought Captain was unwise to turn down the 3 year deal he was supposedly offered but he explains his thinking:

"I knew the situation in Carolina was going to be difficult because I knew they didn't have the cap space," Munnerlyn said. "I turned down a three-year deal because next year I think we'll have better cap space. And we have a new GM. He's keeping most everybody on a one-year contract, but this will give me a chance to show him what I can do. Plus I don't think there will be a glut of cornerbacks on the market next year like there was this year."

So maybe that is why we are seeing so many one year deals. The players know this is a 'lean' cap year so to speak but expect a big jump next year. So they are willing to take the one year at a decent rate thinking next year there will be more money to go around. Plus I guess he has crunched the numbers and likes his odds next year? Seems risky to me and certainly plays to the teams advantage.

The undeniable fact in all this is that Carolina loves Munnerlyn and he doesn't want to play anywhere else:

"My heart is in Carolina," he said. "The situation in Carolina is perfect for me. They let Chris Gamble go, and he ended up retiring. This is my chance to be the No. 1 guy.

Whether you think he can be a #1 or not you have to love the attitude. He's such a 'There is no 'I' in team kind of guy':

"I want to help my team get to the playoffs," Munnerlyn said. "I haven't been to the playoffs yet, and I've been in the league for four years. That's my No. 1 goal. "After that, I want to be a Pro Bowl cornerback. I want to be a shutdown corner."

We have many times declared our love on this blog the tough local kid who plays 1 foot taller than he is. Better to hear it from his coach, a guy who did not draft him but has seen the player and is left impressed:

"We know Captain is a tough, hard-nosed competitor capable of making big plays," Carolina coach Ron Rivera said when Munnerlyn re-signed with the Panthers.

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