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Thursday, February 28, 2008

Pre-FA: Wesley, Hoover are in; Jenkins Out, Coleman In?

With Muhammad in from the Bears, the Panthers added to re-signings by adding Dante Wesley back to the secondary. A 4th CB, Wesley was supposed to be a special teams ace before he got hurt and missed 2007; a 2002 4th round pick, Wesley had been a target of the Panthers since leaving for Chicago along with Muhammad. The pair are signed in addition to re-signing Travelle Wharton, Chris Harris, Damione Lewis, and their RFA/EFAs.

It's been a busy pre-FA period for the team. They finished it off with bringing back Brad Hoover this afternoon for three more years.

Further news abounded for the team from random sources, many of them landing on; included in this was an errant message about the Panthers possibly being interested in Randy Moss, and a statement about Kris Jenkins being heavily shopped.

Jenkins made the local news blogs the last few days, but it being picked up nationally as the Jets try to deal in trade has been interesting. The initial rumor involved LB Jon Vilma, certainly not a need here; it's not sure what the Jets might be offering now. The team is likely to want either picks, a rush specialist, or a guard/tackle. Or all.

The Jets hold the 36th pick in the draft, the second round. They have the 6th overall as well, and may use that to trade down; that'd make the 36 pick more expendable.

Further compounding this situation with Jenkins is that former Atlanta DT Rod Coleman is in town tonight. The 6'2, 297 lb one-gap tackle is a good fit for the team, and a solid choice to replace some of Jenkins' reps. Coleman had 6 sacks two years ago, and only 2 this past year on an awful Falcons team; still, he generates rush, and certainly is the other half of the coin at rush DT if we can land him.

My thoughts: I don't want rid of Jenkins. I don't think a Pro Bowl player, making $3 mil annually, even unhappy of it, is a big deal if he's not sitting out. He won't, and he'll play hard. He's not a distraction (yet, I guess) and he's a force. I don't think we can get enough out of a 2nd round pick to justify it, and if we get a 3rd we're just unloading him because he's unhappy.

But, it looks close to done. It looks like the team's going to work to get it done, and they've done fairly well in trades in this staff. If they can get starting reps out of Lewis, and rush reps out of Coleman, they're in solid shape; they'd probably add a run stopper or bring back Kindal Moorehead to fill out DTs and spend on an end to call free agency a day until a solid guard came along to help out the run game.

Speaking of which, don't doubt the presence of a defensive end or two in town in the next few days.
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