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Carolina Panthers Sign Safety Thomas DeCoud

April 10th, 2014 at 4:00 PM
By Donald Lappe

The Carolina Panthers have signed safety Thomas DeCoud to a two-year contract after hosting him for a visit this past weekend. Thomas DeCoud will bring a veteran presence to the secondary as well as familiarity with the NFC South after spending his entire NFL career up to this point with the Atlanta Falcons. The Panthers will be hoping that DeCoud can return to the form he showed in 2012 for the Falcons.

'Thomas DeCoud' photo (c) 2013, Thomson20192 - license: https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0/

After a monster season in 2012, Thomas DeCoud saw his production dip in 2013. Whatever the reason for that may be, the Carolina Panthers are hoping that a slight change in scenery will spark a rebound in 2014. While DeCoud is changing teams he is staying in the NFC South. Thomas DeCoud spent the first six seasons of his career with the Atlanta Falcons, his best season being 2012, when he posted 76 tackles, six interceptions, nine passes defensed and one sack.

Another aspect of this signing is financial. Safety Charles Godfrey, set to make about $5 million this year, may be on the chopping block now. Godfrey played in just two games due to an injury to his Achilles tendon last season. Adding a former Pro Bowl safety gives Carolina some flexibility at the safety position if the team decides that it's time to move on from Charles Godfrey.

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Carolina Panthers Sign Tight End Ed Dickson

April 10th, 2014 at 3:40 PM
By Donald Lappe

The Carolina Panthers have added another receiving threat for Cam Newton with the signing of tight end Ed Dickson. Ed Dickson will serve as the No. 2 tight end behind Greg Olsen, giving Carolina one of the better tight end duos in the NFL. Having a second talented tight end will take some pressure off the wide receivers, a unit that has been raided by free agency this offseason. Ed Dickson played his first four seasons in the NFL with the Baltimore Ravens.

'Cam Newton' photo (c) 2011, Parker Anderson - license: https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nd/2.0/

Ed Dickson gives the Carolina Panthers a solid No. 2 tight end, Super Bowl experience and a bit of security in the event that the team is unable to find a true centerpiece for their receiving corps. As it stand right now, Greg Olsen is the top target for the team, with Jerricho Cotchery and Jason Avant headlining the group of wide receivers. While those names don't jump off the pages as playmakers, along with Dickson the Panthers will have a solid, veteran group that can produce.

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Carolina Panthers 2014 NFL Preseason Schedule Released

April 10th, 2014 at 9:30 AM
By Donald Lappe

The 2014 NFL Preseason schedule has been released, with the Carolina Panthers drawing the Buffalo Bills, Kansas City Chiefs, New England Patriots and Pittsburgh Steelers. The Panthers will be seen across the country when their second preseason game against the Chiefs is aired nationally. While Carolina certainly has its own share of storylines to be played out during the preseason, the league-wide experiment with longer extra points during the first two weeks of the preseason will grab much of the attention.

'Cam Newton' photo (c) 2011, Parker Anderson - license: https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nd/2.0/

After an offseason of change, the release of the 2014 NFL Preseason schedule sets the stage for the Carolina Panthers to mold their roster in advance of the regular season. The Panthers have seen Steve Smith, Brandon LaFell and Ted Ginn leave this offseason, meaning the preseason will be an opportunity for Cam Newton to work with new wide receivers Jerricho Cotchery and Jason Avant. The Panthers open their preseason schedule against the Buffalo Bills sometime from August 8-10 at home. Carolina is home once again in week two, hosting the Kansas City Chiefs on August 17 at 8p.m. The Panthers will visit LaFell's new team, the New England Patriots, in their third preseason game of 2014. 

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Caolina Panthers Sign Jason Avant to One Year Deal

April 7th, 2014 at 7:30 PM
By Donald Lappe

The Carolina Panthers have added another sure-handed, possession receiver to their arsenal, with the team agreeing to a one year deal with Jason Avant. The Panthers have been looking to upgrade their receiving corps in the wake of the departures of Steve Smith, Brandon LaFell and Ted Ginn. While those three were potential big-play threats, Carolina has gone in another direction – and certainly hasn't done much to get younger. Jason Avant and Jerricho Cotchery are both over 30 years old and their best football could be behind them.

'Eagles vs Redskins 10.16.11_' photo (c) 2011, Matthew Straubmuller - license: https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0/Jason Avant joins the Carolina Panthers after eight seasons with the Philadelphia Eagles. Avant was productive given his role during his time with the Eagles, racking up 297 receptions for 3,646 yards and 12 touchdowns. In 2013, Jason Avant had 38 receptions for 447 yards and two touchdowns. That was a step back from his production over the previous three seasons.

Jason Avant will provide some size a 6-2, 210, but he isn't an explosive playmaker. The Panthers currently own the No. 28 selection in the 2014 NFL Draft, which will make it tough for them to snag a true playmaker coming out of college. While some mock draft projections have placed Brandin Cooks of Oregon State into their laps, that scenario seems highly unlikely. Cooks will continue to move up the draft board as we draw nearer to the 2014 NFL Draft.

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Carolina Panthers to Host Thomas DeCoud This Weekend

April 5th, 2014 at 3:08 PM
By Donald Lappe

Thomas DeCoud is expected to visit the Carolina Panthers' facility on Sunday for what is expected to be a two-day visit. DeCoud was a replacement for the 2013 Pro Bowl and was selected to the 2012 Pro Bowl outright. He would provide a veteran presence in the Carolina secondary after spending six seasons with the Atlanta Falcons. As always, there is some additional value to signing a player from a division rival and turning him loose against his former team. Signing Thomas DeCoud could also pave the way for some salary cap saving for the Panthers.

'Thomas DeCoud' photo (c) 2013, Thomson20192 - license: https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0/

While most of the attention this offseason has gone to the receiving corps with the loss of Steve Smith (rightfully so), the Carolina Panthers have holes to fill elsewhere. Safety Mike Mitchell left for the Pittsburgh Steelers, meaning the addition of Thomas DeCoud would fill a need for the Panthers in the secondary. DeCoud is a solid safety who has spent his entire career in the NFC South with the Atlanta Falcons.

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