This is a list of what I consider the Carolina Panthers biggest offseason needs. Yes the Panthers played well at the end of the year but heading into 2012 there is a lot of work to do. With a few key additions the Carolina Panthers can be a playoff contender in 2012.
Carolina Panthers Offseason Needs
1 Keep coach Rob Chudzinski
Young quarterbacks need continuity to have success and Rob Chudzinski was a big part of Cam Newton’s great rookie season. The Jacksonville Jaguars are interested in Chudzinski and my big fear is that he will get a head coaching job somewhere. The Panthers should promote him to assistant head coach and give him a raise in order to try to retain him.
2 Address the Defensive Line
The Carolina Panthers are decent at defensive end but could use some depth there. But defensive tackle must be addressed via free agency and probably the draft again. Terrell McClain and Sione Fua were drafted at defensive tackle in 2011 but the team needs more young ones. A veteran defensive tackle who can still play would be a nice free agency pickup as he could help the young guys learn.
3 Defensive Back
The Carolina Panthers need at least one starting caliber cornerback to be added to the defense. Captain Munnerlyn would be a good nickel back but I don’t love him as a starter. It’s possible that Brandon Hogan can help out here now that he is healthy and will have some offseason work. The Carolina Panthers could also use some help at the safety positions but not nearly as much as at corner.
4 Wide Receiver
It would be hard to expect Steve Smith to repeat his spectacular season he had in 2011. I do like the young Carolina Panthers wide receivers but the free agent list of receivers is quite impressive. Adding a good mid level veteran to the unit will help Cam Newton progress as a quarterback. I also think it is time to get rid of Armanti Edwards and use his roster spot for a more productive player.
5 Offensive Line
The Panthers offensive line is better than most but I would love to see some additions there for depth if nothing else. The Panthers gave up too many sacks of a mobile quarterback for this line to be considered great.
Please leave a comment and let me know what you think the Carolina Panthers offseason priorities should be heading into 2012. And don’t forget to check back here often for Carolina Panthers news and notes.