Marvin McNutt was very close to having a receiving TD in Week 17.
What happens when a team finds itself having lost all of its receivers who caught a pass the previous season?
You reload, of course.
Yet, the Carolina Panthers have not really made any waves in terms of signing any of the open market's noteworthy receivers. As mentioned in the introductory slide, it was amazing to see the Panthers miss out on both Hakeem Nicks and James Jones. Now, the number of available receivers is dwindling, and fans are becoming impatient with the the Dave Gettleman-led front office.
To really appreciate the gravity of the situation, please remember that when Steve Smith was released, he was immediately regarded as the seventh-best receiver on the free-agent market. What makes it even more frustrating (for Panthers fans at least) is that Smith is ranked higher than any remaining free-agent wide receiver left.
Not to beat a dead horse, but why release your best receiver and make a deep hole that much deeper?
This past week, however, the Panthers signed Jerricho Cotchery, and he will provide a veteran presence at the position. Another name that has come up has been former Tennessee Titans receiver Kenny Britt. Right now, it seems as though Britt is visiting every team but the Panthers. Still, he is a player to keep an eye on.
There are other possible candidates for Carolina to look at but each has their own set of concerns. Players such as Santonio Holmes (ability to pass a physical), Darrius Heyward-Bey (total bust in Indianapolis last year) and Miles Austin (injury concerns) are still available but pose questions as to how effective they can be as go-to options in the Panthers offense.
Carolina still has wide receivers on the team, but none of them caught a pass last year for the Panthers. It wouldn't be surprising to see Tavarres King, Marvin McNutt, Kealoha Pilares, R.J. Webb, Brenton Bersin and Toney Clemons get the opportunity to compete for a spot as the third and fourth receivers on the depth chart.
Other options to be considered are former Atlanta Falcons receiver Kevin Cone and Washington receiver Josh Morgan. Both have garnered interest from Carolina as of late. They are lesser-known players, who if signed, will have everyone scratching their heads about the rebuilding strategy the Panthers have for the offense.
It's also possible, the Panthers use at least two draft picks on wide receivers, but whether or not they will use a first-round selection on a wideout is unknown.
While the Panthers have addressed this need, the hole is still deep enough to merit a place on this slideshow. There is no way the front office will not consider adding one more veterans to the mix.
Regardless of how the unit turns out, there will be plenty of new faces, as Carolina will probably field one of the youngest receiver corps in the league.