Forecast: Muhammad will not be a Panther next year

Some say that we should have never let women vote because they don't vote their mind, they vote their heart. Hence the election of Bill Clinton. I think the same could be said for those who want Moose to remain a Panther. Do we want to keep a player based on emotion and attachment rather than production? You could argue and rightfully so that he had the best season of his career. However, you could also state that it was a contract year as well and he played up to his potential.

Here are four arguments for why Muhsin Muhammad will not be playing with the Panthers next year.

1. He's playing for his last big paycheck

This past year I don't think I've seen Moose willingly take so many hits down the middle or fight so hard to get that extra yard. This was also one of the first years I've seen him complete his routes even when he knew the ball wasn't coming his way. Is it any surprise that this one year he steps up and plays the game like it should be played? The fact that he played through pain and injury this year and didn't in times past might be statement enough to suggest he is stepping up to make his last opportunity for a big paycheck. I for one want players who work hard for all the right reasons. What happens when he does get the big contract, will he return to the mediocre Moose that we have all come to expect?

2. He's not willing to help the team out

Maybe we should expect more loyalty from a player when he is given second chances. In March of 2002 he pleaded guilty to drug and gun violations for the second time. The organization could have easily let him go if they chose to do so, however, they did not. When times were bad under then coach George Seifert, Muhammad grumbled over not receiving enough passes so he took it to the media. He even went as far as placing a sign in his parking spot at then Ericsson Stadium that read, "D-Coy." Again and again the organization has let him have second chances and now it appears that he is not willing to do what it is going to take to keep him on this team. In a recent interview Muhammad said, " I want to be paid what I'm worth," and Moose knows he will get more in FA than he will if he stays with Carolina.

3. His age is a factor

As much as many of you would love to have Muhammad retire with the Panthers, age is a thing that you need to be concerned about. The fact is he will turn 32 this year. The Panthers could pour money into Moose or they could get a young FA or a late round WR in the draft. These are just two options that would be much more favorable than keeping an aging, injury prone wide receiver.

4. He would hinder our younger wide receivers.

Keary Colbert is a promising young wide receiver who could start next to Steve Smith next year, however, if we do pay Muhammad he would start across from Smith. Colbert broke almost all of the Panthers records for rookie wide receivers this year. If Moose does stay, how long he stays in the starting line up will effect how well Colbert develops as a young wide receiver. We will be wasting young talent if we give Muhammad the money he wants.

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