The free agency period unofficially began Saturday during the 3-day tampering period allowed by the NFL, where teams can contact and negotiate deals with unrestricted free agents. The deals won’t be done officially until Tuesday, but the news is leaking. Teams are also working to bring back some of the guys from last season due to hit the market Tuesday, 3/10.
Today, Carolina dipped a toe in the water by bringing back return specialist Ted Ginn, Jr. The Panthers lost Ginn to free agency last season to the Arizona Cardinals, where he struggled to work his way into the receiving rotation. Check out what the Crew has to say about bringing Ginn back to Carolina:
I wasn’t too upset when the Cardinals landed Ginn last season. He put up OK numbers with a 5 TDs and 556 yards. He didn’t stretch the defense as much as a guy with 4.3 speed should and his arms strangely shrank when Cam Newton aired it out. He dropped 30% of his deep passes and ranked 99th by ProFootballFocus.com in deep pass efficiency. Most Ginn supporters point to a big play he made in the Monday Night Football victory over the New England Patriots. He wasn’t sensational, but he proved helpful.
His real value came in his special teams contributions. Ginn was instrumental in Carolina’s special teams’ success, helping to establish good field position for a team that struggled to move the ball consistently. This signing isn’t going to fix Carolina’s offense, but he will help put Carolina’s teams’ play on better footing. After the Panthers palpitating special teams performance last year, I'm partially pumped to have this punt returner back.
Freak’n Puerto Rican
I would say I'm less than thrilled about the Ginn signing. He will improve the return game, but my concern is his inconsistency in pass catching. Under twenty yards and he's fairly reliable. It's on the deep pass where things get dicey.
Ginn may be worth signing just for his impact in the return game. I just want better consistency when it comes to holding on to that deep ball. If he can do that, I will look back at this as a better acquisition.
I really like the signing. He had his best year with us (at least his best in a long time) and Cam really likes him. Big improvement in the Punt Return and Kick Return game. He makes a good 4th or 5th WR, and as long as we aren’t thinking of him as a starting WR, then this is a great move all around. I really hope we sign or draft someone else and we can nickname them “Juice.” We’d have a cool song to play at BOA stadium at least. Good signing in all seriousness, but not the answer at WR.