Carolina's big-play threat Ted Ginn Jr. is set to hit free agency this offseason. While it's possible he re-signs on a team friendly deal, Ginn is also 31 and there may be a younger, better at his age, receiver in the market that Carolina could bring in.
Kenny Stills, 25, just finished his fourth season in the NFL. He's been in Miami the last two seasons after he spent his first two years in New Orleans. So the Panthers are already familiar with his ability to stretch the field. He enjoyed his breakout year with the Saints posting 63 catches for 931 yards and three touchdowns before being shipped to Miami.
Stills finished the 2016 season with 726 yards on 42 catches and 9 touchdowns. He ranked third in the NFL in yards per catch with 17.3. Outside of Ginn, the Panthers receivers struggled in 2016 to get separation from defenders downfield. Benjamin and Funchess weren't drafted to play that role.
Spotrac records and tracks player contracts as well as estimates upcoming free agents market value in relation to similar players contracts over the years. Spotrac estimates Kenny Stills contract to be around 4 years, $25 million for $6.4 million a year. Comparable contracts for other players that signed at his age were, Mohammed Sanu, Travis Benjamin, Golden Tate, and Marvin Jones.
Carolina may be willing to let Ginn walk if they can get a younger, healthy, and better overall Stills for a long-term threat. Stills hands are better than Ginn's when tracking the deep ball and Cam Newton thrives on making big plays downfield with his arm. The Panthers should play to that strength a this could be a good move to do just that.
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Article thumbnail photo by Jesse Fraetis. www.fraetisphotography.com