As an array of off-season moves are made in the National Football League, the Carolina Panthers are in the middle of it all.
Teams are taking a look at last years season and what players they should keep or let go to better their franchise. It’s the unpredictable world of free agency where teams try to find newly released talent and do a some releasing of their own.
One player, quarterback David Carr, did not make the cut. Carr, who came in for injured quarterback Jake Delhomme last season, struggled greatly as the Panthers stumbled to a 7-9 record last season. Carr, a highly touted rookie out of college, spent five seasons in Houston as a starter. His term there was marked by an array of sacks and interceptions, much like his short tenure with Carolina. With Jake Delhomme looking to make his comeback next season, Carolina felt it best to send Carr packing.
Though Carolina begins getting rid of past talent, they are also looking to other free agents that can better help their team. One marquee player is former Panther Muhsin ‘Moose’ Muhammad who was drafted by Carolina in 1996. ‘Moose’ spent nine seasons with the panthers and helped them go to the Super Bowl in the 2003 season. Developing himself one of the top receivers in the league at the time, Muhammad set standards becoming the Panther’s all time leader in receptions with 578, and receiving yards with 7,751. He is also tied for first in touchdown receptions with 44.
After his stint in Carolina, Muhammad was signed by the Chicago Bears where in three seasons compiled just twelve touchdowns and did not make the impact he did in Carolina. Muhammad didn’t adapt quite as well in Chicago, failing to reach a thousand yard season, something he did three times while in Carolina.
The Panthers took full advantage of his release, feeling that Muhsin, being familiar with former coaches, players, and schemes, can help the Panthers rebound from a tough season and get them back on the right track. Being used to a team’s mentality and leadership can be key when forming team chemistry and cohesiveness.
In other NFL news, receiver Randy Moss who had a remarkable 2007 season in New England, resigned with the Patriots after some speculation he may find a home elsewhere.
Finally, legendary quarterback Brett Favre announced his retirement after seventeen seasons and establishing himself one of the greatest players in the history of the league. Brett’s decision to retire left some shocked after nearly reaching the Super Bowl with the Packers last season.
As free agency takes it’s toil, the NFL draft is also quickly approaching, leading teams to decide what holes need to be filled and what top college talent is awaiting. The draft is scheduled for April 26-27.