Although the Carolina Panthers biggest need right now is at the wide receiver position after losing all of their top four wideouts due to either releasing them (WR1 and franchise icon Steve Smith) or simply not re-signing them, the Panthers still have massive holes at cornerback and offensive tackle. They were unable to re-sign top corner Captain Munnerlyn, who signed a three-year deal with the CB-needy Minnesota Vikings, and that’s a shame considering his leadership role, ability to play inside or outside, and the fact that he was one of two crucial pieces holding the secondary together. The other? 2013 breakout safety Mike Mitchell, who also left in free agency (Pittsburgh Steelers).
In order to try and fill the void at corner, the Panthers worked out Arizona Cardinals free agent Antoine Cason recently, and now the Arizona Republic’s Kent Somers reports that Cason will sign with the Panthers after the Cardinals elected not to keep him around. In a tweet referencing Somers’s report, FOX Sports’s Mike Garafolo confirmed that the move will happen “in the coming days”.
Cason is 27 and didn’t do much last season, but he has plenty of experience and was briefly a very good, underrated CB with the San Diego Chargers. He isn’t consistent, but he should be an OK, cheap option for the Panthers as a starter. Not only are they desperate for CB help and like value signings, but most DBs look better behind that beastly front seven, which retained star DE Greg Hardy on the franchise tag. While I view Cason as a sizeable liability in coverage over the past couple of seasons, the Panthers don’t have many better options and will at least get past productivity and experience by signing him.
Another important thing to note? Ron Rivera was Cason’s defensive coordinator in San Diego, so if anyone can get Cason to play to his potential then it would be Rivera, who undoubtedly did an amazing job of coaching this team last season.