NFL free agency 2014: James Jones signs with Raiders

Jonathan Daniel

Now it's really going to hit the fan.

Free agent wide receiver James Jones has signed a three year deal with the Oakland Raidersaccording to Adam Schefter of ESPN.

Jones was seen as the Panthers last hope at finding an accomplished wide receiver in free agency to mitigate the loss of Steve Smith. That wont happen now. In football terms it's a small disappointment, but this is a fanbase no longer capable of sustaining disappointments.

There are still wide receivers available, but if Carolina want to sign someone capable of starting they can no longer drag their feet. We're at the point where there are no more locks. Every potential player carries some risk and it will take a lot of solid pro scouting to find someone who can shoulder the burden to be Cam Newton's top weapon.

The draft is where the Panthers will really make their mark, that's always been clear. What isn't quite so obvious is how fans will continue to cope with free agency failures. This is a fascinating time to follow the team, if by "fascinating" you mean "scary."

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