Speaking to the media today, Panthers general manager Dave Gettleman indicated that his team will have a little more flexibility to spend in free agency this offseason, likening last year’s approach to FAs to shopping “in the dollar store,” writes Joseph Person of the Charlotte Observer. However, while the GM said Carolina may “move up in class” in 2015’s free agent market, that came with a caveat: “I said we’re going to move up in class, I didn’t say we’re going to go out and spend big money on a player.”
Let’s round up a few more Panthers-related items…
- According to Person, Gettleman didn’t sound particularly enamored of Byron Bell‘s play at left tackle in 2014, suggesting that could be a position the team looks to improve: “Byron showed flashes. It’s about consistency. I give him a little bit of the benefit of the doubt, it was his first year playing there. But I think we’ve shown if a player shows up that we think is going to make us better, we’re going to go get him.”
- Gettleman referred to Cam Newton as the Panthers’ franchise quarterback and wants to lock him up with a long-term contract, but declined to go into any details on extension discussions between the two sides, says Person.
- Gettlemen also shot down any speculation on Greg Hardy‘s situation, saying there’s nothing to discuss until his domestic violence trial is adjudicated. Asked whether a player’s history of domestic violence would dissuade the Panthers from signing him, Gettleman conceded, “It would be something that you’d have to really think about.”
- CFL receiver Duron Carter has a visit to the Panthers on his schedule for Wednesday, and could still visit the 49ers, Browns, and Titans after that, tweets Ben Goessling of ESPN.com. We heard last week that the Vikings are the frontrunners for Cris Carter’s son, with the Colts strongly in the mix as well.