It’s long been the philosophy of management and ownership with the Carolina Panthers that the best way to build long-term success is to solely build their team through the NFL Draft. With only four winning seasons, that obviously hasn’t worked.
With the Panthers just a few players away from seemingly having a playoff team, relying on rookies to immediately step in and produce at a high level and be major contributors is foolhardy and naive, especially when many of those players are from small Division I, I-AA or Division II schools.
With owner Jerry Richardson asking the residents of Charlotte to pay for $147 million in renovations to the stadium, it’s high time he go after the type of players via free agency that can pay immediate dividends. And there are plenty of those players available.
What do the Carolina Panthers need? A little bit of everything, to be honest, but defensive line, secondary and offensive line help are the most pressing.
This weekend, some All-Pro defenders were released from their respective teams and with the Panthers on the cusp of making the playoffs, at least one could very well be the elixir Carolina needs to ensure just its fifth playoff appearance in team history.
Green Bay just released future hall of famer Charles Woodson, a star cornerback and safety. He is 36 years old, but he still has tread left on the tires. He was an All-Pro in 2011 and the NFL Defensive Player of the Year in 2009. He’s help the worst secondary in the NFL from the get-go. A two-year contract would be perfect.
These are the types of players Carolina needs. With leadership on this team being a major issue, someone like Woodson, who has played at the highest level and won the ultimate personal and team prizes, is exactly the type of players fans have been screaming about signing for numerous years.
Granted, some nifty maneuvering of the salary cap would be necessary thanks to Panthers management making that a complete debacle.
Nonetheless, it’s time for Jerry Richardson to change his approach on what it takes to win, because thus far his results have been as successful as the ACC in football.