Up next in the team needs features for the draft section are the Carolina Panthers. THN will be filling in all of the needs' pages throughout February, so keep checking back for your favorite team.
2005 Results: 11-5 (2nd in NFC South, lost in NFC Championship game to Seattle - 14-34)
2006 Projected Cap Status: $1M under estimated cap.
2005 Season Recap: After starting 1-2, Carolina went on a 6 game winning streak to start 6-2 at the midway point in the season. The Panthers finished the season 11-5 and secured a wild card birth in the playoffs. They finished strong, winning both the wildcard and divisional games, before being overpowered by the Seattle Seahawks.
This was however, an up and down year for Panthers. Slow out of the gate, but then hit their stride and then stumbled a bit to the finish line. Two games couldn't have been more costly than losing to Tampa and Dallas at home, with playoff implications on the line.
Team needs: Work on upgrading the leagues 22nd ranked offense in 2005 would be a start. They have a playmaker in Steve Smith, but need a number 2 receiver that will take some of the pressure off (sound familiar). Look for changes in the offensive line after a tough year producing running yardage. Injuries at running back took their toll in 05', and expect some new faces here as well. Looks like it may be the end of the Carolina line for Stephen Davis, since he carries a $3.5M cap hit. After breaking his leg last season, Carolina has designated DeShaun Foster with the Franchise tag?? They have a few backs in the wings, but I still expect them to make a move at this position. Defensively they will still be strong, but they need to sign some of their Free Agents. Marlon McCree, and Will Witherspoon to name a few.
2006 draft picks: 1st Round 27th pick overall
Free Agency Status:
RB DeShaun Foster (UFA - Franchise Tag),S Colin Branch (RFA), DT Kindal Moorehead (RFA), TE Mike Seidman (RFA), CB Ricky Manning (RFA), LB Vinny Ciurciu (RFA), QB Chris Weinke (UFA), CB Dante Wesley (UFA), S Idrees Bashir (UFA), P Jason Baker (UFA), C Jeff Mitchell (UFA), DE Kemp Rasmussen (UFA), S Marlon McCree (UFA), OT Matt Hill (UFA), RB Ricky Proehl
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