Over the past week, Panthers GM Dave Gettleman has worked to secure strategic players before they hit the open market today. Mario Addison and Charles Johnson were both re-signed and Kawann Short will likely play under the franchise tag. These players, Gettleman likely assumes, are integral to approaching free agency, the draft, and the 2017. There has been little chatter, however, surrounding Tedd Ginn, Jr, who outside of Greg Olsen, has been Carolina’s greatest receiving threat. With the uncertainty surrounding the Kelvin Benjamin and Devin Funchess, Ginn seems a key component of Carolina’s offense.
Ginn expressed some frustration in a rare Twitter message, writing:
Put some respect on my name period #19— Ted Ginn Jr (@TedGinnJr_19) March 8, 2017
It’s a vague reference that we could draw many inferences. My first reaction was that this indicates contract negotiations with Carolina have soured. Ginn hasn’t been great while in Carolina, but he’s been better than most. Ginn’s also left Carolina in the past in free agency, chasing the bigger contract in Arizona. It was a failed experiment that ended with Ginn returning to Carolina and finding a place in an offense that had escaped him in Miami, San Francisco, and Arizona.
Just earlier this week, Philly Brown scrubbed his Twitter account of Panther ties after Gettleman indicated they would not be re-signing him. Brown wasn’t a highly touted prospect like Ginn had once been. Brown went undrafted. Carolina gave him a shot and injuries afforded him opportunity. He wasn’t bad. He capitalized on some opportunities, struggled in other moments, but outperformed expectations for the most part. His didn’t play his way off the team anyway.
Ginn’s time in Carolina has been even better. He’s gone to the Pro Bowl, made some game-changing plays in big moments, but he’s had his share of struggles too. He’s been a bright spot in Carolina’s offense, however. It may not be clear if Ginn has outperformed expectations, but it is clear that he hasn’t fallen short those expectations. Could he have been better? Sure. He also was much better than many.
Gettleman has had some hard moments with players like Ginn in the past. These are guys who have positively contributed to Carolina’s success. These players, like Steve Smith, Jordan Gross, or even Philly Brown, haven’t been part of the problem. Gettleman, however, hasn’t viewed them as necessary to the solution either. In other cases, like Charles Johnson or Thomas, Gettleman has acknowledged their larger role in the team's success.
We’ll be watching anxiously to see how negotiations progress between Ginn and the Panthers. He’s been their deep threat, even though it’s the deep ball he struggles most with. If Carolina and Ginn do part ways, the Panthers will need to find a way to replace that threat and perhaps add even more production.
By the Professor, aka Tony Dunn
Follow @Cat_Chronicles for the latest Panthers news and opinions from the fan perspective.