Panthers Offseason Update 3-17

The Panthers are pleased with the recovery of Thomas Davis from shoulder surgery. Davis injured his shoulder during a Christmas Eve game against the Atlanta Falcons.

He was blitzing when he took a sharp hit on the shoulder and it popped out of the socket and damaged the labrum. Davis missed the season finale at New Orleans and had surgery to repair the torn labrum a few weeks later.

According to panthers.com, Davis said, "I had never had surgery before. I wanted to start rehabilitation as soon as possible, though, so we got it started a couple of days later."

--TE Doug Jolley became the second unrestricted free agent to visit Carolina, the other being quarterback Marques Tuiasosopo, another former Raider.

As for Tuiasosopo, the Panthers could be waiting to visit with free agent quarterback Joey Harrington, who is currently on his honeymoon after getting married last weekend.

--Panthers linebacker Chris Draft is attracting attention from Tampa Bay, Atlanta and St. Louis.

QUOTE TO NOTE: "Our trainers have told us that Mike is doing exceptionally well in his rehab. It was a serious injury late in the year, but Mike has been working incredibly hard and is doing well. At this early stage, it's hard to pinpoint a date, but he's doing exceptionally well. Again, we're hoping he can be back as soon as possible." -- Panthers GM Marty Hurney on the recovery of DE Mike Rucker.

STRATEGY AND PERSONNEL

MEDICAL WATCH: No updates.

FRANCHISE PLAYER: None.

TRANSITION PLAYER: None.

UNRESTRICTED FREE AGENTS:

--S Colin Branch played when Shaun Williams wasn't in, but like Williams wasn't a difference maker. He could be re-signed for something along the league minimum.

--LB Chris Draft did well filling in for Dan Morgan in the middle, but not a player the Panthers want to rely on to start 16 games because of his lack of size. Draft is exploring the free-agent market, trying to see if he can make more money elsewhere.

--OT Todd Fordham will not be retained. The Panthers have four tackles ahead of him going into next year. Don't be surprised if his career is over.

--OT Dave Kadela technically has been in the league five years, but has played in only two career games, the last being in 2004. Will not be retained.

--DT Kindal Moorehead has been a backup defensive lineman for four years for Carolina. They like Moorehead fine, but they won't overpay to bring him back.

--C Scott Peters has played in only four games in his career and spent last season on injured reserve. He's not expected to return.

--TE Mike Seidman is coming off a torn ACL and has just 16 catches in four years. Don't expect him back this year.

--S Shaun Williams started most of last season for Carolina, but wasn't a difference maker and probably will not return.

RESTRICTED FREE AGENTS:

--DT Jordan Carstens (tendered at $1.3M with 2nd-round pick as compensation) was sidelined last year with a blood clot in his lung. He was inactive for all but one game before that.

--WR Drew Carter (tendered at $1.3M with 2nd-round pick as compensation) still has yet to tap into his full potential. Panthers definitely want him to return because he's a solid deep threat. Carolina would like to lock him up long term.

--TE Michael Gaines (tendered at $1.3M with 2nd-round pick as compensation) surprisingly received more than the minimum tender.

EXCLUSIVE RIGHTS FREE AGENTS:

--S Nate Salley, a fourth-round pick, was cut last year and then brought back. He rarely played.

PLAYERS RE-SIGNED:

--QB Brett Basanez: ERFA; terms unknown.

--LB Na'il Diggs: UFA; 1 yr, $950,000 base salary, SB unknown.

--CB Christian Morton: ERFA; terms unknown.

--S Cam Newton: ERFA; terms unknown.

--RB Steven Jackson: ERFA; terms unknown.

PLAYERS ACQUIRED:

--LB Terrence Melton: Not tendered as RFA by Saints; terms unknown.

--DT Stephen Williams: UFA, waived by Kansas City; terms unknown.

--WR Kevin Youngblood: UFA, terms unknown.

PLAYERS LOST>

--LB Vinny Ciurciu: UFA Panthers; $3M/3 yrs, $500,000 SB.

--WR Karl Hankton (released).

--TE Kris Mangum (retired).

--S Kevin McCadam (released).

--DE Al Wallace (released).

--QB Chris Weinke (released).


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