In his latest piece for NFL.com, Albert Breer of the NFL Network examines the relationship between head coach Ron Rivera and GM Dave Gettleman, who have steered the perennially underrated Panthers to a 5-0 record early in the 2015 season. Praising the job Gettleman has done with the roster, Rivera tells Breer that he believes good things are ahead for the club.
“I think we’re gonna continue to grow,” Rivera said. “We have to keep looking to get better, and we have to keep managing the cap, because it’s set up so you lose guys you don’t want to lose, and that’s hard. Josh Norman is [a free agent] next year, and we’ll hopefully find a way to keep him. You don’t want to lose good players, and that’ll be hard on Dave and his guys. That’s the hard part.”
Here are a few more highlights from Breer’s column:
- Back in March, cornerback Darrelle Revis was “very amenable” to the idea of staying with the Patriots, according to Breer, who adds that the Jets and Pats were far and away Revis’ top two choices. However, since New England’s offer wasn’t close to New York’s, the star corner returned to the Jets.
- When the Patriots first signed Revis in 2014, the team wanted a second year for cap purposes, and Revis’ camp asked for a roster bonus in year two. According to Breer, New England countered by including an option bonus, which served a similar purpose and put the club in line to take home a compensatory pick – likely a third-rounder – in 2016.
- An NFL contingent is schedule to travel to Mexico City at the start of November to determine if a regular season can be played there, and – if so – how soon. “It’d be fantastic if we could do it next year,” said Mark Waller, the NFL’s executive vice president of international. There are still a few issues to work through though, including the technical infrastructure and broadcast accommodations at Azteca Stadium.
- Addressing the Robert Griffin III situation in Washington, Breer reiterates that the team would be risking guaranteeing RGIII’s 2016 salary if he plays this season, since that money is currently guaranteed for injury only. While Breer doesn’t explicitly say it, the Griffin situation may be a case study for future teams as they consider whether or not to exercise fifth-year option on borderline players — declining those options would allow clubs to deploy those fourth-year players without worrying about a major injury that would lock in that fifth-year salary.