Captain Munnerlyn's talking to the press about wanting to stay; his
agent is suggesting Carolina can't afford him. Rumors have him joining
another NFC South team. So, they've gone into full-on hype mode as free
agency comes onto the horizon.
It's a tough situation that requires the lack of attachment that new GM
Dave Gettleman promised when hired. Munnerlyn played four years at
South Carolina, and was a cult fan favorite for being an overachieving,
undersized 7th rounder who ended up starting.
After a very tough 2011, Munnerlyn somewhat came into his own under
Steve Wilks, as did various other DBs last year, despite losing the
early season battle with rookie Josh Norman. Unlike '11, when he only
looked good in the slot, he improved in both areas, and has always been
a football player playing corner.
So hopefully, Carolina knows that value. He can start if needed, but
his best value is in the slot. If someone else believes he should start
(say, a strict cover 2 team) or wants him as their punt returner (where
Carolina has other projects), then they'll probably have more money to
spend, and Carolina's back to the drawing board.
But I'd reserve caution on getting wrapped up in the expected cut of
Chris Gamble that the team doesn't overpay to keep a really good
roleplayer in Munnerlyn. The team does appear to be in need of various
resources at corner - which might keep some away from a needed upgrade
at safety - but they can't put too much into returning Munnerlyn if so.
As it is, it might appear on paper that there's a greater need on the OL
and DT than DB, unfortunately, if going by need.
So, it'd be nice to have him. It'd also be nice to pay him what he's