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News » Carolina Panthers Notes, Quotes 2009-04-09


Carolina Panthers Notes, Quotes 2009-04-09


Carolina Panthers Notes, Quotes 2009-04-09
--A national telecast on ESPN against the New York Giants and a home date with the Super Bowl champion Pittsburgh Steelers highlight the Carolina Panthers 2009 preseason schedule released by the league Monday.


In all, the Panthers will face four teams who made the playoffs last season.

Specific dates and times of the preseason games have not yet been determined.

The Panthers will open their four-game preseason August 17 on ESPN at Giants Stadium marking the seventh time the Panthers and Giants have played in the preseason.

In Week 2, Carolina travels south to face the Miami Dolphins, these two clubs last met in the 2006 preseason.

The Baltimore Ravens will make their first trip to Bank of America Stadium since the 2002 season in Week Three and Carolina will conclude the preseason at home versus Pittsburgh. This will be the 11th time in franchise history that the two teams have met during the preseason, making the Steelers the Panthers most common preseason opponent.

The Panthers regular season schedule has already been established, but the dates have not been determined.

Aside from home-and-away games with division opponents New Orleans, Tampa Bay and Atlanta, the Panthers will host Philadelphia, Washington, Minnesota, Buffalo and New England. They will visit Dallas, Miami, Arizona and the New York Jets and Giants.

--The Carolina Panthers re-signed exclusive rights free agent Nick Hayden on Tuesday to a one-year contract worth $310,000.

A sixth-round draft pick out of Wisconsin in 2008, Hayden was the team's only draft pick to be released prior to last season which voided out his original rookie contract. Two days later he was signed to the practice squad and was added to the regular roster later in the season.

As an exclusive rights free agent, Hayden had no power to sign with another team.

Hayden joined the 53-man roster late in the 2008 season after the Panthers defensive front was hit hard by injuries. Hayden actually started the team's regular season finale against New Orleans and saw action as a backup in Carolina's playoff loss to Arizona.

He has a chance to make the roster this year as a backup behind starters Maake Kemoeatu and Damione Lewis, although that will largely depend on what the team does in the NFL draft and how he performs in training camp.

--Former Panthers cornerback Ken Lucas, who was released earlier this month in a salary cap move, visited with the Chicago Bears on Monday. Lucas is hoping to land a starting job with another team that is competing for a playoff spot. He turned down a trade to another NFC North team, the Detroit Lions, last month.

The Panthers released Lucas and eliminated his salary cap figure of more than $6 million in large part because Lucas is over 30 and the team had a suitable and cheaper replacement in third-year pro Richard Marshall waiting in the wings. C.J. Wilson is expected to compete as the No. 3 cornerback.

Look for the Panthers to also draft a cornerback or add a veteran in free agency (there are still plenty available) down the line.

QUOTE TO NOTE: "I've not talked to Julius since the end of the season. ... We are going to let the system play out and we'll see how it works out." -- Panthers coach John Fox on Julius Peppers as told the NFL Network at the NFL Owner's meetings.



Author:Fox Sports
Author's Website:http://www.foxsports.com
Added: April 9, 2009

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