Carolina Panthers Ranked In Top 10 Of NFL's Most Talented Teams

Hope's are high once again for the Carolina Panthers heading into 2017 following a slew of strong free agent signings in the off-season and bolstering up the offense in the recent draft with play makers and protection for franchise quarterback Cam Newton. 

The media has taken notice as well and some are liking a bounce back year for Cam Newton and the Panthers new-look offense. Big free agent signings such as bringing back home Julius Peppers and Captain Munnerlyn have many seeing this defense getting back into the top ten after being one of only two teams to be there for three consecutive years before dropping back last year.

In a recent rankings article, Gil Brandt has the Panthers ranked 9th on his top ten list of most talented teams in the NFL heading into 2017. Only the Atlanta Falcons (3rd) also made the list, although I imagine the Buccaneers weren't far outside of the top ten. Here's what Brandt had to say. You can read the full article here.

9) Carolina Panthers

 

 

 

It can sometimes seem as if quarterback Cam Newton is perpetually at a career crossroads, but I think he'll have a big year this year. He's certainly not lacking for weapons, with rookie matchup nightmares Christian McCaffrey and Curtis Samuel joining running back Jonathan Stewart and tight end Greg Olsen on offense. Signing Matt Kalil to protect Newton's blind side was a key improvement. This team looks capable of scoring 500 points. On defense, Carolina helped itself by bringing back defensive end Julius Peppers and cornerback Captain Munnerlyn and signing safety Mike Adams. If healthy, linebacker Luke Kuechly is one of the best at his position, while there's no reason defensive tackle Kawann Short shouldn't perform.

 

It was clear following a highly anticipated 2016 season with a losing record that Carolina had to make some changes. They did just that in one the busier off-seasons Panthers fans have seen in years. 

If everyone pans out and can stay healthy, the Panthers could be right back playing again in January for the fourth time in five years.

Written By Tripp Morgan

Follow @TrippMorgan6 and @Cat_Chronicles for the latest surrounding the Carolina Panthers.

Situational Role? Julius Peppers Is Here To 'Be Productive.'

There was a lot of nostalgia in the air for the Carolina's when the Panthers brought back local favorite defensive end and Panthers great Julius Peppers last Friday. At 37, it's believed that Peppers would like be in a situational pass rushing role with other guys, but on a call with local WFNZ (click this link to here the interview), Peppers pushed the envelope further.

"We haven't really talked about that," Peppers said about his role.  "I can say this: It's not one of those situations where I'm coming back for a farewell tour. I'm coming back to play, and I'm coming back to try to make some things happen. So my expectation is to be out there and be productive."

It's obvious Peppers doesn't want to be a guy plugged in here or there just to be there and despite what the Panthers may have thought they would get out of him, it's something they certainly should like to hear. 

Peppers is coming off a two-year stint with Green Bay where he recorded 18 sacks and 4 forced fumbles over that span. He had 7.5 sacks last season with the Packers, so the consistency is still there. While he lined up a lot in a 3-4 role, he was still very effective with his hand in the dirt, which is where he Carolina will use him most. 

He's also not ruling out playing another year at age 38. 

"Well, right now, I'm taking it one year at a time. At the end of the year if I still feel good, than why not?"

One year at a time, but I'm sure if Julius is productive in '17, then the Carolina's would love to have him back to end his career where it began... in Charlotte, NC.

Written By Tripp Morgan

Follow @TrippMorgan6 and Cat_Chronicles for the lastest news and updates surrounding the Carolina Panthers.

 

Carolina Panthers Sign Munnerlyn And More In Big Day Of Free Agency

Carolina Panthers Sign Munnerlyn And More In Big Day Of Free Agency

It's been a busy day in Charlotte for the Carolina Panthers on the second day of free agency.  To end it, they agreed to terms with a familiar face in nickel back specialist Captain Munnerlyn, a big need for the defense.

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Julius Peppers Reunion Expected For Carolina Panthers

The last thing I had heard on Peppers before free Agency was that his agent was working on a deal to keep him in Green Bay. It was also known that the Panthers would likely try to sign Peppers and they both had common interest in '14. Well, they are reportedly close via Joe Person of the Charlotte Observer. 

Peppers, 37, was the Panthers second overall pick in 2002 and played eight seasons while going to five Pro Bowls during that span. He recorded 7.5 sacks and two forced-fumbles with Green Bay last season, showing he could still rush the passer. It should be noted he played in a 3-4 role with Green Bay, but still had his hand in the dirt here and there.

Defensive end Charles Johnson's lobbying to his old friend and mentor just may have helped sway him. Johnson has also sent out tweets trying to sway another former Panther in Captain Munnerlyn, who also reportedly has been sent an offer from Carolina.

Follow @TrippMorgan6 and Cat_Chronicles for the latest news and updates surrounding the Carolina Panthers

Article photo by Jesse Fraetis

Julius Peppers May Not Make It Back To The Carolina Panthers.

There'a been a lot of talk since the season has ended of former Panthers great Julius Peppers rejoining the team once he hits free agency. Recent news supports that hope for the reunion may have just gotten a little further away.

Julius Peppers agent Carl Carey recently told ESPN that he has spoken to the Packers recently about a deal that would keep Peppers in Green Bay. This coming after Carey announced Peppers intent to continue playing according to Pro Football Talk.

“Julius, after taking some time to reflect during the off season, has decided that he still has the desire and enthusiasm for the game, and his intention is to play a 16th NFL season,” Carey said, via ESPN.com.

 

Peppers, 36, has shown that he can still get to the quarterback as a role player on defense. He has totaled 25 sacks (7.5 in 2016) and 8 forced fumbles (2 in 2016) over the last three seasons with the Packers.

Before signing with Green Bay prior to the 2014 season, Peppers was reportedly real close to signing with Carolina until Green Bay called and offered him a spot to play as a 3-4 stand up linebacker. "I've been waiting my whole life to do that," Peppers said. The rest was history.

Many Panthers fans are hoping for a reunion at a position that could use another pass rush presence. If this recent report holds true, Peppers may want to stay in Green Bay in his current 3-4 role.

Written By Tripp Morgan

Follow @TrippMorgan6 and @Cat_Chronicles for the latest news and updates on the Carolina Panthers.

Article photo by Jesse Fraetis Photography.