With free agency set to begin on March 12, Carolina Panthers rookie general manager David Gettleman has to patch some holes without much financial flexibility.
The Panthers are still working on getting below the salary cap, which is Gettleman's first order of business. In that effort, Ryan Kalil and Jonathan Stewart restructured their contracts, with Jordan Gross and Jon Beason being another couple of veterans who may wind up doing the same.
With franchise cornerstones on both sides of the ball, expectations will be high entering the 2013 season. There is no denying that the 2012 season was a bit of a disappointment, but the team saw tremendous improvement over the final six games of the season.
In order for Ron Rivera to keep his job at the conclusion of next season, the Panthers will likely have to clinch a playoff berth. That means getting to 10 wins, which means Rivera will have to keep his team focused.
Being strategic is the key to the offseason for the Panthers this season, so we'll see just how well Gettleman can build a roster from the onset.
While it may be the offseason for players, it's an awfully busy one for GMs, scouts and other front office members.