Yesterday was a busy day in the NFL as teams were making deals left and right to sign players and bring in free agents with huge deals. The Carolina Panthers were one of the few teams to stand by and not make too much noise on day one.
Yes, they did sign cornerback Drayton Florence, but he was a very cheap option compared to those other mega deals that other players were getting. In fact, this could all be part of Dave Gettleman's strategy.
An article on Grantland discussed the insane amount of money teams like to throw at players on the first day of the NFL season. The article's writer, Bill Barnwell, goes as far as calling it "the dumbest day of the NFL year."
From a fan's perspective, Barnwell may be another pessimistic writer who doesn't agree with certain terms and contracts, but after reading the article in its entirety, it makes sense. Players don't get the same kind of offers after the first day of the signing period as they would when it begins.
Carolina is strapped financially and while they weren't expected to make a big splash in the free agent pool, chances are they may have utilized the same strategy if they had the cap room.
Gettleman has done his homework and there is no doubt he has a list of targets on his big board. However, he was wise to wait out the first day, making a minor acquisition to fill a position that is noticeably weaker with the absence of Captain Munnerlyn.
Positions like defensive tackle and wide receiver could still be addressed in free agency, but by waiting a while and evaluating the remaining talent, Gettleman and the Panthers could be able to pick up the key player they were looking at since the beginning.
With all the big contracts they have invested in Charles Johnson and DeAngelo Williams, the Panthers cannot afford to make another move that will require excessive spending just to bring in someone on a two- or three-year deal.
It would seem their strategy is to bring in who can help the team at a great bargain but concentrate on making the team strong through the draft. By going in that direction, they are able to refrain from signing a player or players who could quite possibly put them back in the current situation they are in now.