I know it's easy to get into the free agency process. I like it, too.
Know this, however. It leads to heartbreak if you let it.
Carolina's not going to move quickly. Not with guys outside the
program, not with guys from last year.
It's frustrating to listen to Captain Munnerlyn talk about not hearing
from them. I don't know if it's a mindgame, but contact right now
wouldn't 'mean' anything real either. Carolina's probably going to sign
its first few contracts a week or two into the process.
Are they losing out on anything? Sure, in a way. Carolina can talk
contract with Munnerlyn, Greg Hardy, whoever. If they found a
reasonable deal with one or more of their existing free agents, they'd
better know where they stood for the rest of the cutdown/cooldown period
before free agency hits.
But, comparatively, Dave Gettleman has shown no affinity for sentiment.
Is Munnerlyn, a South Carolina grad with 5 pretty good years here in
Carolina, valuable because he's spent about a decade in the area?
Maybe, maybe not. As a fan, absolutely, I think so. He's also a guy
whose value wavers for his height, and that can be a problem if you're
using him wrong. Carolina's using him correctly, but as a young player
with experience starting, sometimes that paycheck can matter about as
Which is why Gettleman can afford to be less sentimental. But, that
requires some patience of him. It would be easy to tag Hardy, quickly
sign Munnerlyn. Then you're short a chance to do anything about
anything else, with a quite poor depth chart at both CB, S, and WR
around what's left. Gettleman's playing the long game, acknowledging
that this year will require some tough choices. Hopefully, that means
remaining competitive while the team works its way out of its current
cap situation, which would've been more palatable with more than a
slightly-above-.500 run over the last 3 years cumulatively.
A few unpopular decisions will inevitably made. The team will often
look like it's sitting on its hands, while it's holding tight and
waiting for the right time to get players that fit. It might not even
work. In the meantime, there has to be a level of patience to deal with