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News » Carolina Panthers Strategy and Personnel 2009-03-20

Carolina Panthers Strategy and Personnel 2009-03-20

Carolina Panthers Strategy and Personnel 2009-03-20
The main focus of the Panthers in the upcoming NFL draft should be adding depth to their offensive and defensive lines. Both areas are in dire need of an infusion of youth.

Carolina has lost three backup offensive linemen and they were thin last year on the defensive front. And now, they may lose defensive end Julius Peppers, while Darwin Walker is not expected to return.


The Panthers probably won't look for a new return man following the loss of Mark Jones.

The team believes Ryne Robinson, who handled punts and kickoffs in 2007, will do just fine. Robinson missed all of last season with a knee injury he suffered in training camp.


1. Defensive end: The Panthers still need to find a replacement for Julius Peppers in case the team can't find a trade partner and he winds up holding out.

2. Defensive tackle: One of Carolina's weaknesses last year was a lack of depth in the middle of the line. The Panthers need to add a body here to help out Damione Lewis and Maake Kemoeatu.

3. Offensive line. After losing their top three backups in a span of four days, Carolina's offensive line depth has been depleted.

MEDICAL WATCH: No updates.

FRANCHISE PLAYER: DE Julius Peppers: Tendered at $16.683M.



--LB Donte Curry is a moderate special teams player who can be had on the cheap.

--LS Jason Kyle is an extremely reliable long snapper who the team would like to have back. But he might test the market.

--LB Adam Seward wants out of Carolina and would like to play in a 3-4 defense - or simply play on defense.

--DT Darwin Walker was inactive for the team's playoff game against Arizona despite having more playoff experience than any player on the roster, so that should tell you all you need to know about his chances of returning to Carolina.


--WR Jason Carter (not tendered as ERFA).

--DT Gary Gibson (not tendered as RFA) was a backup tackle last year and went on IR late in the season with a hand injury.


--LB James Anderson (tendered at $1.01M with third-round pick as compensation) has contributed little other than on special teams.

--S Nate Salley (tendered at $1.01M with fourth-round pick as compensation) hasn't played all that much but the Panthers still like his game.


--DT Nick Hayden (tendered at $385,000) actually started toward the end of his rookie season in 2008 after getting cut in training camp. The team likes him and he'll be back.

--CB C.J. Wilson (tendered at $385,000) is a guy the Panthers really like and he could wind up being the No. 3 or 4 cornerback in 2009. The team may cut Ken Lucas, which would allow Wilson to move up the depth chart. He's a former safety with good cover skills.


--OT Jordan Gross: Potential UFA; 6 yrs, terms unknown.

--TE Jeff King: RFA; tendered at $1.545M; terms unknown.


--QB Brett Basanez: FA; 2 yrs, terms unknown.


--OG Jeremy Bridges (released).

--RB Nick Goings (released).

--WR D.J. Hackett (released).

--OG Geoff Hangartner: UFA Bills; $9.6M/4 yrs, guarantees unknown.

--WR/KR Mark Jones: UFA Titans; terms unknown.

--CB Ken Lucas (released).

--OT Frank Omiyale: UFA Bears; $11.5M/4 yrs, $5.5M SB.

--DT J'Vonne Parker: Not tendered as ERFA/Broncos; terms unknown.

Author:Fox Sports
Author's Website:http://www.foxsports.com
Added: March 20, 2009

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Jordan Gross Name: Jordan Gross
Position: OT
Age: 28
Experience: 6 years
College: Utah
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