The Panthers were none too happy when DT Kris Jenkins decided to skip the team’s offseason program. Jenkins already was on the trading block before the draft, but the team did not make a deal because it wanted a first-round draft pick in return and the best offer it got from anyone was a second-rounder. There were hard feelings on both sides, and now the Panthers may have to consider dealing Jenkins for a much lower price.
The often injured, 2nd round pick from Maryland has been a big disappointment since his standout year in 03 under John Fox. He was a key ingredient that season, helping Carolina finish at the top of the NFC, as they made it to the Super Bowl. Since then, he has only recorded a total of four sacks in three, shortened seasons (21 games). If Carolina wants to win the division, they need his huge, 335-pound body to get moving. When he is on top of his game, he is one of the best defensive tackles in all of football. The question is: When will he get back to the level of being that disruptive lineman he once was? The answer is: He will continue to fade away, sinking as a stagnant player just earning his paycheck.
Carolina fans can now write him off as a “has been.” The only question now left is: Where will he go next? The answer will have to be soon, while the Panthers will try their best to surely unload this unwelcomed, mammoth of a football player. At best, Carolina might receive a third round draft choice, when at one time they could have acquired a second round selection.
Carolina’s now in a desperate situation with a shaky quarterback, fragile defense, and non-existent running game, with the outlook on this squad looking bleak. I see them playing out to be just another 7 or 8 win team without a true identity on either side of the pigskin. With extraordinary performances from stars like DE Julius Peppers, WR Steve Smith, SS Mike Minter, and CB Chris Gamble, the Panthers would still lack in terms of production compared to an all-around balanced, division winning team from Louisiana.