Jake Delhomme was let go after the 2009 season, and now the Panthers will have a brand new starting quarterback for the first time in seven years. It could be Matt Moore, or it could be Jimmy Clausen, but regardless of who is taking the snaps, he’ll need someone to throw to.
Steve Smith has proven himself to be one of the best wide receivers in the league, but recently went on record as saying he no longer wants to be the No. 1 receiver. Regardless of the insanity of that statement, there are very few options to take over the duties of a No. 1 receiver on the Panthers’ roster.
Dwayne Jarrett has been an incredibly disappointment, Brandon LaFell is very talented but will need a year or two before he can be the focus of the passing game, and Armanti Edwards is going to be a project — a very, very long project.
A proven, veteran receiver would make a lot of sense for Carolina, and there just happens to be one of those inexplicably floating around in free agency.
Terrell Owens, who would be willing to play on a one-year deal, would be a fantastic addition as a stop-gap while the Panthers work on Edwards and allow LaFell to develop. Both of the rookies could see time subbing in with T.O. or in a flanker role while Jarrett sees minimal time wherever they decide to toss him in.
And not only does he help the young receivers, he instantly becomes a great target for whichever young quarterback takes over the offense. Then, once the passing game gets on track, it opens up an already-explosive running game and creates a difficult offense to stop.
There haven’t been any reports of the Panthers showing any interest in T.O., but it’s a move that makes far too much sense to ignore. T.O. needs a place to play, the Panthers need a receiver, and John Fox would probably like to keep his job for at least a few more seasons.
But, as the NFL has shown us time and time again, just because a move makes sense doesn’t mean it’s going to happen.