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Who Will Catch Passes For the Panthers Next Season?

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Written By: Florida Bengal

After one of the most successful seasons in franchise history, the Carolina Panthers have been largely quiet as other teams have picked them apart in free agency.

Safety Mike Mitchell went to the Steelers on Day 1 of free agency. Linebacker Jordan Senn is now a Bear. Cornerback Captain Munnerlyn has visits lined up with the VIkings, Jets and Buccaneers.

And then there are the wide receiver.

The Panthers released all-time leading receiver Steve Smith, who had 64 catches last year. Brandon LaFell (49 catches) is a free agent who is visiting the New England Patriots today. Ted Ginn (36 catches) is being courted by the Giants and Buccaneers among others. Domenik Hixon is now a member of the Chicago Bears.

Assuming that all of the players above do indeed depart, the Panthers’ most-established NFL receiver would be Toney Clemons, who signed with the team in January and has three career receptions (all of them in 2012 for the Jaguars). The most-established as a Panther would be Kealoha Pilares, who had two catches for 42 yards and a score with the team in 2012.

With all of that noted, who exactly could be lining up at wideout for the Panthers in 2014?

There’s always a chance that LaFell and/or Ginn don’t find what they want on the open market and return to the team. There’s also a belief that former Giant Hakeem Nicks could be headed back to his hometown of Charlotte, but he’s currently in Indianapolis visiting the Colts.

Tight end Greg Olsen led the team in catches a year ago and will remain a viable target, but he’ll need help on the outside. It will be interesting to see how the Panthers address this hole in the coming weeks.

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5 Responses to “Who Will Catch Passes For the Panthers Next Season?”

  1. Zak says:

    I wouldn’t hold my breath. Dave Gettleman has a serious ego problem. Instead of patching things up adding to the team. He removed someone that would stand up to him. The most vocal. He is not a man at all in my opinion. He has a serious insecurity problem. He subtracted from a team that has too many issues already. He thinks he will fit right now needs with Draft picks and build on the success from last year? I don’t know who he thinks he is or what he is smoking but the guy is not thinking full picture. Anyone that thinks that this team will do just as good or better next year is seriously mistaken.

  2. Stay Calm says:

    Everyone is freaking out about what is going down right now and it’s understandable. We are two days into FA, yes people are leaving but everyone is acting like we have the money to keep these players! Thanks to Hurney we have been screwed cap wise and unfortunately players are gonna have to go. Smitty was a tough choice but looking towards next year’s cap when we have to resign Cam I highly doubt we could afford Smith to count 9 mil against the cap! Gettleman has to have a plan, he did wonders last year and the team started almost 16 mil over the cap, what makes you think he can’t do the same thing?

    • my1voice57 says:

      It’s not so much that he released Steve Smith but how he did it that’s troubling. Additionally, although I understand about cap issues, he has kept virtually no veteran leadership with Jordan Gross and Steve Smith’s departure. Not only are there major holes to be filled with very little cap space available and with being seated 28th in the upcoming draft I’m not sure that the signing of mid-tier players and the draft will completely cut it this year. Although he made some really good decisions in his first year as GM, I believe that he has bitten off more than he can chew this time. After all it’s not like he’s a magician or the “GRAND POOBAH”!!!

  3. keekthesneek says:

    This guy (Gettleman) better be quite the scout. I don’t want Nicks. That guy is broken and looked real lazy when he WAS healthy. Gettleman had a terrific draft last year and now he has to hit homers across the board even more so this year. He has definitely put the pressure on himself and I hope his patience & his dismissal of my favorite all time player (Agent89)pay off for the team but I will still be rootin for Smitty wherever he is at.

  4. DieHardCatz says:

    U guys forgot about Tavarres King and Marvin McNutt. Those guys are much better prospects than the two wanksters this article mentioned.

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