NFL News: Jeremy Shockey Chooses the Carolina Panthers over the Miami Dolphins
Both teams showed interest in Shockey, but Panthers coach Ron Rivera apparently made it clear that he wanted a player that he could build his offense around and who could be a team leader. If Shockey would have signed with the Dolphins, he would have had to split time with Anthony Fasano.
The Panthers franchise is currently in a state of transition as a new coach will bring a new mentality to one of the worst organizations of the last few years. Jimmy Clausen is expected to be under center for the Panthers in 2011 which at least provides a slight taste of quarterback stability for the time being.
No matter who actually plays quarterback for the Panthers next season, Shockey should be targeted early and often.
Shockey was instrumental in helping Eli Manning early in his career and has been successful with every team he has been a part of.
Shockey has also been considered one of the players that helped re-structure what a tight end should be in the last decade as his pass catching ability is among the best in the league for tight ends.
Shockey will enter next season as a 10-year veteran who has the ability to become a face of the franchise.
Over his career, Shockey's best years came with the New York Giants. He played in New York from 2002-2008 where he caught almost 400 passes and 27 touchdowns.
With New Orleans, Shockey only caught six touchdown passes in three years but played in a more spread out offense. Shockey also won Super Bowls with both teams.
This acquisition can only make the Panthers better as their off-season preparations move forward. Rivera finally has an offensive threat he can count on and Shockey has a place where he feels like he is truly wanted.
Only time will tell if this is a match made in football heaven, but in the meantime it looks as if Carolina just got a lot better.
Brian Murtaugh is a Cleveland Browns Featured Columnist as well as the lead columnist for Browns Central.
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