The Panthers made a major move toward adding confidence, leadership, and solidarity to the team by making two decsions - bringing back Muhsin Muhammad and finally releasing David Carr.
Carr, the lone free agent of the 2007 season, obviously didn't work out so well. Hapless fans, in preseason looking to drag Jake Delhomme to the bench, were openly booing Carr and even calling for his replacement, Matt Moore.
Instead of a player accustomed to failure and collapse, they get a former star turned roleplayer; a former malcontent turned captain. Muhammad, as the youngster, had some issues that kept him from getting ahead of guys like Mark Carrier and Willie Green; he was a backup for Carolina's first Playoff run. After playing the star, he settled into the captain and the roleplayer; he was the blocker, the teacher. Now, he returns for those roles and to contribute to another run into the playoffs.
And, so, as the 2007 free agent crop officially busts away, the 2008 season starts off with a bang adding Muhammad to a solid pre-FA re-signing class including Travelle Wharton and Damione Lewis. The team is retaining a solid core, to be aided by one or two major moves for bigtime players. They've already found one starter before the February 29 bell rings; they'll likely find another pair before March is through, with the expectation that the draft will bring at least one more.