They began by adding defensive end Jason Babin who had 12.5 sacks last season, but then they get corner Dominique Rogers Cromartie (trade) and Nnamdi Asomugha through free agency. They also have Cullen Jenkins as this article was being written.
That was just pure dominance, but the other surprise team looked inward to retain its core players and add veteran leadership to other positions—that team is the Carolina Panthers.
The Panthers had been treated like a second-class citizen by analysts, talk shows and other sports writers. They had one bad season with a coach 95 percent out the door, a team purged of almost all veterans, a rookie receiving corps and a quarterback that clearly was not ready to play.
Many have been speculating where Carolina’s free agents would go, as surely they would not come back to a 2-14 team. Surely Steve Smith would not want to stay with a rookie quarterback at the helm.
All I have to say to those people is, “SURPRISE!”
The Panthers have made themselves known this free agency and that they have no plans of just sitting at the bottom of the mighty NFC South.
With these players, the Panthers are already on their way back to respectability.