Friday, February 20, 2009

The day after

Thursday was rather eventful. In case you missed it:
  • The Carolina Panthers signed LT Jordan Gross to a 6 year deal, worth what is believed to be nearly $60 million dollars. That's a big chunk of change, but Gross has proven to be durable, and solid at both tackle spots on the line. Nice work, and congrats to the team, and to Gross. The 2 sides had been talking deal since before last season, but according to GM Marty Hurney, this negotiation was tougher, because this one was for a longer term. They got it hammered out, and that allowed the Panthers to....
  • the non-exclusive franchise tag on Julius Peppers. It gives the Panthers some limited protection. Peppers can sign an offer sheet from any of the other clubs, but Carolina has the right to match any offer, or let him go to that team for (what Hurney wants) two first-round draft picks. Here's the rub: If Peppers signs an offer sheet that Carolina wants to match, they will. The club has made no bones about wanting to keep Peppers. If the offer sheet isn't beyond ridiculous, Peppers could be forced into staying. Of course, no one expects any offer sheet to be less than ridiculous, so the likelihood of the Panthers matching anything is remote. The Panthers want picks, Peppers wants out. Carolina loses some protection when it comes to where he ends up. Atlanta, Tampa Bay or New Orleans (the Panthers NFC South roommates), can all try and get him to sign a deal with them, and the Panthers can try to block it by matching, or let him go for the draft picks. No Panther fan wants Peppers in the NFC South, unless it's with Carolina.
  • Big props to the Charlotte 49ers for their upset win of Xavier on Thursday night. 65-60 the final, in a game that was back and forth throughout. Bobby Lutz's team gave another great effort, Niner Nation was in a full lather, Halton Arena was rockin'. Great stuff, but now they have to follow it up. A roadie on Saturday against Richmond. Tough opponent, and on a short turnaround. Charlotte has won 3 of 4, and feeling good. Let's see if they can keep it going.
  • Davidson will try to bounce back from a loss to The Citadel (64-46) on Wednesday, when they host Butler on Friday. It's part of the ESPN Bracketbusters (read, slap a fun name on something and market it as a real event-it's a non-conference game between 2 decent teams). Stephen Curry didn't play against The Citadel, and the consensus in the News 14 Sports department is--don't play him Saturday, even if he is able to play. The loss to the Bulldogs likely hosed any remote at-large bid they may have received, provided they do not win the Southern Conference Tournament. They have nothing to gain by beating Butler (except another W), but big picture, keep Curry healthy and off that banged up ankle until the games mean something. That will also allow his team to learn to win without him--something they are plenty capable of.

Want to thank everyone for the kind words, and notes I have received since the mention by Langston Wertz, Jr. with the Charlotte Observer, on his blog. It is an honor to be mentioned in the class of sportscasters he listed.

Tim Baier and Jim Connors take you through Friday night, then Tim and Ryan Welch handle the weekend. I'll see you back in the chair on Monday, with former Panther defensive end Mike Rucker stopping by for a visit!

Mike Solarte

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Yes, It would be crazy to let Peppers go. He is one of the top five defensive players in the NFL. He's also a TarHeel true and true.

Cheers out to UNCC for the big win last night in their ESPN showcase game. That was crazy!!!!!!!!