Two more free agents are set to arrive in Charlotte on Monday with hopes of finding themselves on an NFL roster. This would be a difficult task for most teams in the NFL, but guys like Thomas DeCoud and Jason Avant could find a place on a Panthers roster still struggling to find talent.
The Charlotte Observer reports that both veterans will meet with the team on Monday in a pair of moves that would make a lot of sense on the roster as constructed. Fans will remember DeCoud from his time in Atlanta where he was the long-standing starter at free safety before having his role reduced.
At this stage the 29-year-old veteran is showing his age. The 2013 season was DeCoud's worst since entering the league and was terrible in pass coverage. That said, his real value is in giving the team flexibility from a salary cap point of view. He would allow the team to release Charles Godfrey and recoup roughly $5 million, even if it's unclear whether he's a true upgrade.
Jason Avant is a slightly different situation. The receiver will never blow the doors off, but he's a long-standing and reliable veteran who has been good for 400-700 yards throughout his career, mostly in a third receiver role. In Carolina he would immediately become the team's second best receiver after Jerricho Cotchery and offer another solid locker room presence.
The 2014 offseason has been one of reliability, not risk. A year ago we saw general manager Dave Gettleman roll the dice on underperforming talents he believed had promise. This worked out with Mike Mitchell and Ted Ginn, while it never really paid off for Chris Scott and Domenik Hixon. There was room in 2013 to gamble and lose, while this year has been about finding solid contributors -- even if they don't have huge upside.
Should Carolina sign both players it's reasonable to expect a pair of one year deals. The wait begins again now and we could see another two people added to the roster come Monday evening.