4 Still Unsigned Free Agents Carolina Panthers Should Contact
With the majority of the free-agent signings and the NFL draft in the rear-view mirror, the Carolina Panthers' personnel is close to being set in stone. That being said, it's never too late to make an addition that has the potential to improve the current roster.
Since the end of the 2012 season, Carolina made changes across the board, although the moves made at defensive tackle and cornerback were the most notable.
Gone is nose tackle Ron Edwards, as the 13-year veteran simply couldn't stay on the field. Rookie GM David Gettleman used the team's first two draft picks on defensive tackles Star Lotulelei and Kawann Short.
The re-signing of Dwan Edwards, along the additions of Lotulelei and Short, should turn last year's weakness along the interior of the defensive line into a strength when the new season kicks off.
At cornerback, the Panthers were forced to cut Chris Gamble, a move that was necessary but unfortunate. Even though Gamble struggled to stay healthy, he was a game-changer when on the field.
Currently, Captain Munnerlyn and Josh Norman are slated to start at corner with Drayton Florence manning the nickelback position. Unfortunately, that trio doesn't do much to inspire confidence, which is extremely troubling considering the explosive offensive attacks that call the NFC South home.
Even though the Panthers are limited financially, they should at least call the following free agents to gauge their interest.
Steve Breaston had a disappointing 2012 campaign, as he caught only seven passes for 74 yards as a member of the Kansas City Chiefs. Although his 2012 season was a clunker, Breaston has compiled a string of solid efforts in seasons past.
From 2008-11, Breaston hauled in 240 catches for 3,221 yards and nine touchdowns playing out of the slot. In fact, Breaston was such a successful wideout for the Arizona Cardinals that the Chiefs decided to sign him to a five-year deal worth up to $25 million.
Although recent history doesn't remember Breaston well, it isn't like he had All-Pro quarterbacks throwing him the ball. The Chiefs were one of the most dysfunctional teams in football, so Breaston could be forgiven for having a disappointing season on a 2-14 team.
Coincidentally, the Carolina Panthers are in need of a slot receiver and Breaston is still on the market.
Breaston could be had for cheap while giving Newton a safety blanket in the middle of the field. The Panthers would be silly not to even give Breaston's agent a call, as he could be a valuable receiver if put in the right situation.
Haruki Nakamura struggled as the Carolina Panthers' starting free safety in 2012 and is slated to start there this season as well, according to OurLads.com.
The Panthers should look to bring in competition to at least push Nakamura, because his recent level of play will continue to be a major liability in the secondary.
Enter Kerry Rhodes. Last season, Rhodes accumulated 67 tackles and four interceptions and proved to be less of a liability down the field than Nakamura.
Unlike Charles Woodson, who recently signed with the Oakland Raiders, Rhodes has been playing safety throughout his entire career. That makes him a natural fit at free safety, and adding him to the roster could pay huge dividends this season.
Since Rhodes is still a free agent, it may be a while until he signs. Teams around the league are waiting to see how their rosters look once training camp opens up, which means the ex-Arizona Cardinal may not find a new home until July.
It would be in the Panthers' best interest to contact Rhodes now, as they could familiarize themselves with him and act quickly if safety help is needed once training camp opens up.
Stay with me here. The Carolina Panthers need a wide receiver. They could go with a different wideout, but Randy Moss is a veteran who could be excited to play with Cam Newton.
Moss still isn't sure if he wants to play football this season but hasn't ruled out the option, according to a tweet by Mike Freeman of CBSSports.com.
Randy Moss still hasn't decided if he wants to play next season, I'm told.— mike freeman (@realfreemancbs) May 16, 2013
This one might be unlikely, but a phone call to Moss' agent wouldn't hurt anyone and all options that could improve the team should be considered.
The Carolina Panthers have a need at wide receiver, as there are a lot of questions surrounding the unit.
With Cam Newton entering his third season, it's the responsibility of David Gettleman and the rest of the front office to equip him with adequate weapons. The team failed to add any remarkable wideouts in the draft or free agency, which will surely put more pressure on Steve Smith and the rest of Newton's returning options.
Smith is the only lock at receiver, although he is set to enter his 13th season this fall. While he hasn't shown many signs of slowing up yet, it's only a matter of time until Father Time catches up to the franchise's all-time leading receiver.
The coaching staff is still waiting for Brandon LaFell to develop into a consistent option, and the passing game won't reach its potential until Cam newton has a legitimate second wideout.
Brandon Lloyd, who played for the New England Patriots last season, is still available and is coming off a rather productive campaign. Although Tom Brady and the rest of New England's explosive offense deserves credit for Lloyd's success, he did haul in 74 catches for 911 yards and four scores.
At 32 years of age, Lloyd isn't a threat to stretch the defense or to break big runs after the catch. That being said, he could be a reliable option for Newton in the slot.
The market surrounding Lloyd has been quiet, which means he might be forced to sign a team-friendly deal.