Today was intense. Of course I wrote articles from work, and before I could get home to paste them there were so many changes that most of them are invalid.
So they came in this morning having pulled the best DE in free agency, their own Charles Johnson, the night before. They set their sights on Deangelo Williams next, and you could assume that could be the whole day. It certainly wasn't.
While waiting on Williams, they pulled down probable starting NT Ron Williams. He's a roleplayer, a run stopper. But he's also a vet presence on the line.
They brought in TE Ben Hartsock. At first glance, Hartsock isn't the solution at TE, IMO. He's not a player that fits that second role. Hopefully they're not done, but he's probably a one year deal.
The shocker of the day was K Olindo Mare. It was always a fear that the Panthers would hold onto John Kasay, now expected to be unceremoniously cut, too long. And they made the right move in moving on, hopefully. Mare's age and shortened range don't bother me, and it makes sense that they went from one of the league's worst at kickoffs to one of the best. But it seems like they paid far too much for a somewhat limited kicker - 4 years, $12 milion. Was Mare so in demand? I doubt it. You give him a two year deal at most. I'm sure he is cuttable two years in, but there was no reason to go another two years anyway.
Then, after lunch, they locked in Williams. 5 years, $42 million. $21 milion guaranteed, half of the contract. It's a lot of money, and I would've been fine with him walking, but if he can stay healthy, he should continue to be very powerful, and he should benefit from the new zone power running as much as anyone (along with more catches).
Then, word came that they'd locked in both OLBs, James Anderson and Thomas Davis, to 5 year deals (Anderson's is $20 million - reasonable - and Davis' is assumed to be similar). Not bad. It may leave Dan Connor out in the cold - he's deserving of a spot - but a year backing up this trio is followed by free agency for him.
So now what? They have their LBs; they have their DTs, possibly; they definitely need a CB of some sort, and there are still top CBs and DTs still out there. Conventional wisdom suggests a vet QB, and I'd still prefer to bring back Dante Rosario or another FA than have Hartsock/Barnidge be our backup TEs.
But, it's been 48 hours and they've spent well over $140 million in future money, so have patience.