The current cap-situation for the Carolina Panthers can’t allow them to make any moves in free agency, but a few veterans are going to get cut, a few deals will be restructured, and that might give them enough of a window to improve their secondary situation by bringing in Aqib Talib from the New England Patriots.
The Patriots want Talib to stay, but have too many deals they need to hash out before free agency begins, which might leave the talented yet a tad problematic cornerback looking for a new team, with plenty of buyers willing to hop on the wagon. Talib had his problems with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, but when it comes to skills, he’s a positive impact on any defensive back situation, certainly the current one the Panthers have.
After a 7-9 season, the Panthers need to put Cam Newton in a chance where he can be a quarterback that contends for a spot in the postseason. Improving the defense and especially the secondary seems like the first thing on the list, although it looks like the problems there are so great (despite the misleading against the pass numbers) it will take more than one player, or even one off-season, to make a difference.
The Panthers desperately need a play maker after recording only 11 interceptions in 2012, and Talib is the kind of guy who can add a few, but also allow the team to make some defensive adjustments thanks to his ball hawking skills. The 27 year old is someone you can build on for a few years, barring any behavioral problems, as the current crop of defensive backs, including Chris Gamble who is likely to be released, probably wouldn’t be starting for most of the teams in the NFL.
The Panthers got torched last season any time they met a good quarterback, and that’s enough to tell you they need additions, quality ones at the back. Talib made an immediate impact with the New England Patriots, and if they manage to create enough cap space for him, he should be a welcome addition to their defense. The prospect of playing against his former team (the Bucs) might be an incentive to get him to sign with the Panthers as well.