Carolina Panthers: No Deadlines Deals the Wrong Move for Cam Newton and Co.

Ryan KennedyAnalyst IIOctober 19, 2011

ATLANTA, GA - OCTOBER 16:  Cam Newton #1 of the Carolina Panthers reacts after scoring a touchdown against the Atlanta Falcons at Georgia Dome on October 16, 2011 in Atlanta, Georgia.  (Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images)
Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images

With the Carolina Panthers stumbling to 1-5, coming off their worst lost of the season, this was the ideal week for the Panthers to shake things up and pick up a potential key piece for the rest of the season. Not only would making a move show the Panthers fanbase the commitment to growing, but it could have addressed two key areas which the Panthers are lacking in.

The Panthers have three big weaknesses, cornerback, defensive tackle, and wide receivers not named Steve Smith. Bringing in another veteran defensive tackle was not the answer. Terrell McClain and Sione Fua, while not spectacular, still have room the grow.

Wide receiver and corner on the other hand could have used some upgrades.

Captain Munnerlyn has looked overmatched at times. Chris Gamble has not recorded an interception since Week 13 of the 2009 season. Your starting corners cannot average 1.5 passes defensed per game. It is not a recipe for long term success.

The Panthers secondary is being eaten alive. Much of that has to do with the shootouts that the Panthers seem to be in every week and at a quick glance, the Panthers are not that bad. They are eleventh overall in pass defense. Dig a little deeper. The Panthers allow the fourth highest passer rating and the ninth highest completion percentage.

That does not exactly exude confidence. The main name being floated about yesterday was Asante Samuel. The Eagles CB is a ball hawk who takes chances, but any winning team can tell you, if you win the turnover battle, you win games. Samuel would have brought that and allowed for the rest of the young corners to develop.

The more pressing and continual need on the Carolina Panthers is to find a second starting receiver. Brandon LaFell and David Gettis could fill the role starting next season. If the Panthers hope to really win some games though, Cam Newton needs to have more than just Steve Smith to throw to.

This is not to suggest that the Panthers should have sold the farm to get someone like Reggie Wayne, but Mike Sims-Walker would have been an upgrade over Legedu Naanee.

The Panthers have some of the building blocks for the future. They just need to tweak their roster continually until they find the right mix. A minor move at the trade deadline would have done that. After seeing nothing happen though, it can be assumed that the management sees the team on the right path and will continue to build through the draft.