If you’re up for an interesting debate Carolina Panthers Hoodie
, let’s discuss trading away Daryl Worley"WhiteFanposts Fanshots Sections Keep Sounding PodcastPanthers 2019 NFL DraftCSR Film RoomWhich 2017 Panthers players were missed the most in 2018? - Defense and special teams editionNew,25commentsIf you’re up for an interesting debate, let’s discuss trading away Daryl WorleyESTShareTweetShareShareWhich 2017 Panthers players were missed the most in 2018? - Defense and special teams editionBob Donnan-USA TODAY SportsThe Carolina Panthers stumbled to a 7-9 record in 2018, just one year removed from a solid 2017 campaign in which they went 11-5 and made the postseason. One way to reflect on the year-over-year decline is to evaluate which players from the 2017 squad the Panthers actively chose to not bring back this year (i.e. traded or didn’t re-sign). With that in mind here is the recap of the 2017 defense and special teams players who played elsewhere in 2018 and how much (or little) the team missed them this year. DT Star LotuleleiDeparted via: Free agency. Signed 5-year, $50 million deal with the Buffalo BillsStar’s 2017 campaign was arguably his worst in Carolina with just 25 tackles, three tackles for loss, 1.5 sacks, and five quarterback hits (though his full value as a blocker-eater isn’t reflected in stats alone.) In 2018 Star signed with the Bills and had another disappointing year with a career-low 17 tackles, one tackle for loss, zero sacks Russell Color Rush Shepard Jersey
, and zero quarterback hits. If Pro Football Focus grades mean anything to you, his 55.9 grade was No. 103 at his position. Final evaluation: Glad the Panthers aren’t on the hook for his 2019 cap hit of $11.5 million. S Kurt ColemanDeparted via: Cut by Panthers. Signed 3-year, $16.3 million deal with the New Orleans SaintsHe signed with the Saints in 2018 and settled in as a role player instead of an impact player. He appeared inall 16 games with nine starts but played in just 34.9 percent of New Orleans’ defensive snaps and his role decreased as the season progressed. Final evaluation: Perfectly fine veteran but won’t live up to his 2019 cap hit of $7.0 million. CB Daryl WorleyDeparted via: Traded to Eagles for Torrey SmithAfter being traded in March 2018, Worley was arrested under troubling circumstances in April and was immediately released by the Eagles. The Oakland Raiders then signed him and he began the season with a four-game suspension stemming from the arrest. But once Worley got back on the field, he was serviceable. He appeared in 11 games with nine starts. He had 33 tackles (three for losses), seven passes defended, and one interception. His PFF grade of 55.6 was No. 109 among cornerbacks. Final evaluation: Off-field issues aside, Daryl Worley would’ve been far more valuable than Torrey Smith this year and next year. K Harrison ButkerDeparted via: Signed off Panthers practice squad by the Kansas City Chiefs in September 2017The Panthers selected Butker in the seventh round of the 2017 draft on a delicious four-year, $2.4 million deal then took a calculated risk by putting him on the practice squad while continuing to roll with Graham Gano. The Chiefs plucked Butker off the practice squad and the Panthers re-upped with Gano for four years, $17 million. Final evaluation: Let’s see Jordan Scarlett Jersey
, Butker and Gano produce at similar levels but one gets paid seven times more than the other...PR/WR Kaelin ClayDeparted via: Free agency. Signed a 1-year, $720,000 deal with the Buffalo BillsThe speedy special teamer spent only a partial season in Carolina in 2017 and returned 17 punts and three kickoffs over nine games including a spectacular 60-yard punt return touchdown in a Week 12 win against the New York Jets. His 2018 season was disappointing though as he was waived by the Bills, signed by the Giants, then went on injured reserve after returning five punts for 15 yards. Final evaluation: Plenty of other options with Damiere not saying he’d be a Pro Bowler, but any team relying on Captain Munnerlyn and Corn Elder could use all of the help it can get. Overall, Marty Hurney was right to let Lotulelei and Coleman move on, but losing Harrison Butker is a costly mistake. With the benefit of 20/20 hindsight, Carolina would’ve been better off trying to develop Daryl Worley than watching Torrey Smith tumble down the depth chart. As we start to look ahead to 2019, Marty Hurney will have several big decisions about re-signing current players or letting them walk. Let’s hope he makes the right calls. As we roll into Week 1 https://www.carolinapanthersfanshop.com/Christian-Miller-Jersey
, the Panthers face a young Dallas Cowboys squad with a solid run game. The Panthers defense will have their work cut out for them stopping the run and the offense looks to succeed in its first action under freshman offensive coordinator Norv Turner. Here are the key matchups to watch.Luke Kuechly vs. Ezekiel ElliottOne of the top running backs in the NFL faces arguably the best defender in the league. Elliott is a threat whether he is taking handoffs in the backfield or catching passes. Kuechly is a top tier run and pass defender. This is one of the premier matchups of Week 1 no matter how you slice it, and could impact the game more than any other one-on-one matchup. Kuechly can patrol sideline to sideline against the best of them, however Elliott lead the league in rushing his rookie year for a reason. Elliott figures to be heavily involved in all aspects of their offense as the consensus best weapon for the Cowboys.Mario Addison vs. Tyron SmithIn regards to the line, the rushing game will be a big factor. However, rushing Dak Prescott will be key as well. Kawann Short and Dontari Poe will make their debut as a unit, but ol’ reliable Mario Addison needs to show up as well. He has worked his way into a 3 down role with the Panthers, and will see Pro Bowler tackle Tyron Smith most of the night. Addison’s one of the better speed rushers in the NFL, but Smith is no stranger to top tier players. If Addison can get consistent pressure then Carolina’s secondary can make plays.Panthers tackles vs. Demarcus LawrenceThe Cowboys best pass rusher will face off against Taylor Moton and whatever the team has planned at right tackle. This could be problematic for a team that is attempting to be a more high powered passing offense. No, scratch that, it WILL be a problem. So far Will Grier Jersey
, Moton has held his own in the preseason. But playing 4 quarters against starting defensive lineman is a different animal. I also imagine the Cowboys will have a plan to attack the right side of the line, seeing as it will either be a plan C or a guy who is still recovering from injury. Pray for Cam Newton, please.Devin Funchess vs. Byron JonesThe Cowboys sport an underrated group of athletes at linebacker. Between Sean Lee and Jaylon Smith, they should have a plan for Greg Olsen. I don’t expect them to completely shut him down, but it should provide some 1 on 1 opportunities for the Panthers de facto number 1 wide receiver. Funchess is coming off a breakout year, showing he can be the number one target and succeed. However, I want to see it more consistently when he isn’t the best option among a series of bad ones. Funchess should be in for a workload of moving the chains. In a contract year, this is the perfect game to start building a case for his payday.What players are you watching, Panthers fans?