Dave Gettleman is heading into his second season as the general manager of the Carolina Panthers and in the precarious position of rebuilding a 12-4 division champion.
I emphasize the word rebuilding because there are many ways in which an NFL team can actually rebuild. The conventional use of the term conjures up thoughts of general managers and head coaches scapegoating their team's repeatedly disappointing play by blaming the natural process of aging or, on the flip side, an influx of youth.
However, the Panthers are not too young, nor are they too old. So why must they rebuild? And I know Panthers fans are shuttering with images of Jimmy Clausen flashing through their minds every time they read that word, so please bear with me—you won't see it but one more time.
The Panthers must rebuild—last time, I promise—because free agency hit them harder than any team in the NFL this year.
One-year signings like Mike Mitchell and Ted Ginn Jr. exceeded expectations with the team in 2013 and sought out hefty contacts elsewhere, when Carolina was unable to open up their budget, due to salary-cap restrictions.
Combine those one-and-dones with the departures of Panthers veterans like Captain Munnerlyn and Brandon Lafell, and you get a messy situation for any team, let alone a team as cap strapped as the Panthers.
With the offseason nearly all ahead of us, the Carolina front office has plenty of work to do. Read on to find out the most pressing issues it will face over the coming months.