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Panthers tag could hint at Bowers pick

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08:02 AM ET 02.22 | Tagging defensive end Charles Johnson could cost the Panthers $13 million, and choosing instead to tag Ryan Kalil or DeAngelo Williams could hint at Carolina's plans at the draft. The case against franchising Johnson: A $13 million deal for a guy with one solid year -- he had 10 sacks combined in his first three -- represents more of a gamble than with the reliable Kalil. There are those who wonder whether he's a naturally ascending player, or a guy who put up big numbers in a contract year for his one payday. If he leaves, it would position the Panthers to take Clemson defensive end Da'Quan Bowers with the top pick and proceed as they did in 2002, after drafting Julius Peppers second overall.

The Charlotte Observer

DeAngelo Williams, Getty Images DeAngelo Williams, Getty Images
February 22, 2011  08:13 AM ET

Whatever they do, they still won't win any more than five games next year.

February 22, 2011  08:17 AM ET
QUOTE(#1):

Whatever they do, they still won't win any more than five games next year.

That would appear to be a very optimistic prediction.

February 22, 2011  08:38 AM ET

And this whole time I thought their #1 overall pick status (and Luck staying in college) hinted at Bowers pick. Silly me.

February 22, 2011  08:58 AM ET

Panthers stink!

Comment #5 has been removed
February 22, 2011  12:51 PM ET
QUOTE(#5):

the 1st round pick is important, but it's what they do with the 2nd and 3rd rounder as well as what they get for Steve Smith that will determine what will happen this upcoming season... they'll still suck though regardless..

Steve Smith won't bring much. He'll be 32 next season with a 5.4 million dollar deal remaining. His production declined, catching only 46 balls for 554 yards and 2 tds. They might be best off offering him an outright release. If that happens, teams like Kansas City, St. Louis, and Chicago could all be interested in having him as a #2 or 3 receiver.

February 22, 2011  02:10 PM ET

I'd try like no other to trade down if I were Carolina

February 22, 2011  04:18 PM ET
QUOTE(#6):

Steve Smith won't bring much. He'll be 32 next season with a 5.4 million dollar deal remaining. His production declined, catching only 46 balls for 554 yards and 2 tds. They might be best off offering him an outright release. If that happens, teams like Kansas City, St. Louis, and Chicago could all be interested in having him as a #2 or 3 receiver.

Don't write Smith off just yet. Keep in mind along with getting hurt - and yes, I know that happens more frequently with a 32 year old - he had no one that could get the ball to him. Put him opposite a good reciever with a good QB and he's going to do some damage. Panthers have some tough decisions to make. But I think they've got so many holes that they need to trade down and get more talent in.

February 22, 2011  04:34 PM ET
QUOTE(#5):

the 1st round pick is important, but it's what they do with the 2nd and 3rd rounder as well as what they get for Steve Smith that will determine what will happen this upcoming season... they'll still suck though regardless..

Panthers have no #2, or the 32nd pick in this years draft. They traded it last year for an additional 3rd round pick and chose former Appalachian State QB Armanti Edwards who was supposed to morph into Antwan Randel El. Edwards had zero impact last year and was only activated for 4 games. Don't blame Smith for low production last year - there was no one to throw him the ball. He is a warrior and has too much pride to flame out. Hopefully they can get a decent free agent QB who can manage the game and hand off to the best RB trio in the league. Panthers haven't been good on D since they stupidly cut Kris Jenkins several years ago, because he wasn't one of their "Stepford" type players. They need to take Farley #1 - he's a big DT disruptor and will make everyone else on the D Line better.

 
February 24, 2011  12:29 AM ET
QUOTE(#9):

Don't write Smith off just yet. Keep in mind along with getting hurt - and yes, I know that happens more frequently with a 32 year old - he had no one that could get the ball to him. Put him opposite a good reciever with a good QB and he's going to do some damage. Panthers have some tough decisions to make. But I think they've got so many holes that they need to trade down and get more talent in.

Chiefs have an extra 4th round pick. I'd be fine if they dealt that or a fifth away to Carolina for Steve Smith. He'd be good playing opposite of Dwayne Bowe. With that said, I fully expect a team like the Chiefs or Rams to explore all free agent options first. That will include Green Bay's James Jones, Jacksonville's Mike Sims Walker, New Orleans' Lance Moore, New York's Steve Smith, San Diego's Malcom Floyd, Arizona's Steve Breaston, or St. Louis' Mark Clayton. The one thing that all of those receivers have in common is that they are below thirty with definite upside.

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