Training camp is approaching quickly for the Carolina Panthers. The month long affair is in Spartanburg, SC on Wofford College’s campus. For most of the returning veterans, this is another day at the office. But for rookies like Christian McCaffrey, this is the start of what could be a promising career.
Top Carolina Panthers Off-season Moves
Before training camp kicks off next week, take a look at some of the Panthers’ more notable off season moves:
Trading Kony Ealy for second-round pick
Although Ealy showed significant maturity during Super Bowl 50, he performed the least of all defensive ends during 2016-17. Ealy is known for his quickness off the snap. He will join the title-winning New England Patriots. Carolina was able to draft wide receiver, Curtis Samuel, from Ohio State and offensive tackle, Taylor Moton, from Western Michigan. The Panthers addressed two of their most dire needs on offense.
Signing Fozzy Whittaker to an extension
Carolina signed a two-year contract with Whittaker, on March 8th.. The running back turned kick returner is coming off his most productive year. He is one of those players franchises love because he will play whatever role he is assigned. If Carolina uses him to his full potential, fans will be seeing a lot of him.
Tagging Kawaan Short
Short has been a starter the last two seasons, recording 11 and 6 sacks respectively. He has been consistent with tackling and will be most effective putting pressure on other quarterbacks. Tagging Short will give Carolina the opportunity to see if he can become a long-term player (i.e. Charles Johnson, Luke Kuechly).
Key extensions at the Defensive End position
Speaking of d ends, Carolina also solidified their front seven by signing extensions with Wes Horton, Mario Addison, and Charles Johnson. Each of these players had vital roles in that stingy defense fans have grown accustomed to over the past few seasons.
Taking advantage of free agency
Not only did the Panthers sign center, Ryan Kalil‘s younger brother Matt Kalil, but also brought back Julius Peppers and Captain Munnerlyn. Peppers has had at least five sacks in 14 seasons of his 15-season career. That type of productivity could spark the defense in a major way. Although Munnerlyn is only 5’9, he is one of those scrappy cornerbacks that every team needs.
Drafting Christian McCaffrey
He was the eighth-overall pick in this year’s draft, McCaffrey has tons of hype to live up to. His speed is something the Panthers’ offense needs. Being 5’11” might be a disadvantage with his new quarterback. Training camp will be as good a place as any, to hone in on the chemistry they will need to have a successful season.
These were major moves for the franchise this year, but the team has done more with less. Time is the factor in seeing how the moves impact Carolina.