So, it's come to this. Now we select the two safeties to represent the All Kitty Litter team. If you look through the team's history books the Panthers have been somewhat-lucky at their safety spots. Mike Minter and Deon Grant were reliable, Chris Harris had a great run in Charlotte -- while the often-maligned Charles Godfrey has had his moments. These four players have almost no upside, and it will quickly become clear why they're on this list.
We're not splitting this into free safeties and strong safeties, so go wild and vote these through.
Career statistics in Carolina: 13 games (13 starts), 28 tackles, 2 INT, 4 PDef
It's hard to know how much of this is really Nakamura's fault, and how much of the blame lies in the Panthers mis-evaluating a special teams player and asking him to be a full-time starter. Optimism in his abilities were at a high prior to the season, and Haruki looked good in training camp, but that quickly eroded.
Over-matched in the open field, a poor tackler, and almost single-handedly cost the Panthers a game. I hate adding current players to the All Kitty Litter list, but if the shoe fits...
Career statistics in Carolina: 12 games (12 starts), 60 tackles, 2 INT 4 PDef
This is pretty great because in a lot of ways Williams was Nakaumura before Nakamura arrived. He had some flashes in the early-2000s, but was demoted by the New York Giants and was a non-starter for 2.5 seasons before John Fox wanted to reunite with him.
Maybe you justify signing Williams as "he's being misused", but it quickly became clear that he just wasn't very good. After just 12 games the Panthers decided to move in a different direction. Why it took 12 games is the real question.
Career statistics in Carolina: 59 games (36 starts), 132 tackles, 7 INT, 20 PDef
Interceptions are flashy, but they don't adequately explain how bad Martin was as a full-time starter. I'll scream it until I'm hoarse: He was misused. The run of taking corners and making them safeties was mindless, and because of Martin's ball skills I think he could have been a good nickel cornerback.
The problem was contact -- he just couldn't do it. It became old hat for a wide receiver to shrug him off, or easily avoid an arm tackle. Where Godfrey doesn't wrap up, Martin didn't do anything.
Career statistics in Carolina: 48 games (19 starts), 56 tackles, 4 INT, 9 PDef
I don't often lobby for a player, but I'll make an exception. Colin Branch MUST be on this team. He represents everything a good Kitty Litter player should: John Fox held on to him way too long, he was mediocre in every start, and there's a wild card.
Branch burnt himself on a turkey fryer, which resulted in wearing a cast in several starts. Yes, he almost burned down his house trying to deep fry a turkey.
You know what to do.