Grill Bill: "Any chance" Panthers sign Colin Kaepernick?

Colin_Kaepernick_throw

@chaseisbeast5 Any chance Panthers sign Kap? I wouldn’t think so considering our cap situation and how much Kap is looking for

As most of you likely know by now, “any chance” questions make me cringe. And this is peak #anychanceSZN. But since a flood of these sorts of queries came streaming in this week, let’s make an exception.

Yeah, I heard Colin Kaepernick’s lawyer, Mark Geragos, connect the dots to Carolina. And it makes sense.

Kaepernick has at times been a good quarterback (see: taking the 49ers to the Super Bowl a season before he knocked the Panthers out of the playoffs). Plus, while no one’s playing style is all that similar to Cam Newton, Kaepernick has the mobility factor – a trait many have been clamoring for in a backup since Newton came to Carolina. And as evidenced by the Eric Reid signing(s), the culture Dave Tepper is trying to build here would be welcoming to Kaepernick.

With all that said …

We don’t know Kaepernick's price tag, but he would cost something, and the Panthers have more pressing needs at starting positions. And how do we know he can play?

Kaepernick hasn’t been on a field in two seasons, briefly saw his starting job go to Blaine Gabbert after dealing with shoulder soreness ahead of the 2016 season and is 32-32 all-time as a starter. But most importantly from a Panthers perspective, I’m not sure they're all that interested in any veteran quarterback right now. They clearly were intrigued by what they saw out of Kyle Allen at the end of 2018. Sign Kaepernick - or any veteran - and Allen’s reps go away. It’s long past time the Panthers try to develop a young arm. That road offers a higher ceiling than toying around with most of the available retreads.

Anyway, I can see an argument for both sides on Kaepernick, so I’m not going to scream one way or another. But as of today, I don’t see the Panthers pulling the trigger.

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@bdubsmitty #AnyChance the Panthers trade for Antonio Brown, aka Mr Big Chest?

OK, fine, one more #anychance.

Brown would cost too much – and that doesn’t include his baggage.

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@KeeppoundingTV Coming off a phenomenal season can Christian McCaffery handle a consecutive season with a similar workload?

I think the workload stuff was blown out of proportion by folks focused on his snap counts. Sure, McCaffrey was on the field for nearly every play last season, but he touched the ball just 33.7 percent of the time (326 touches/966 snaps).

Now let’s look at some touch totals for other running backs who played in a Norv Turner offense:

Table inside Article
Player Year Touches
Ricky Williams 2003 442
Emmitt Smith 1992 432
Ricky Williams 2002 430
Emmitt Smith 1991 414
LaDainian Tomlinson 2001 398
Terry Allen 1996 379
LaDainian Tomlinson 2007 375
Frank Gore 2006 373
Terry Allen 1995 369
Emmitt Smith 1993 340

So that’s five guys who in 10 seasons had more touches than McCaffrey had last year. And those were still fewer than these rushing attempts alone:

Table inside Article
Player Year Carries
Williams 2003 392
Williams 2002 383
Smith 1992 373
Smith 1991 365
Allen 1996 347
Tomlinson 2001 339
Allen 1995 338

Compared to McCaffrey's 219 carries, those were big workloads.

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@nicholaspoptay1 What do you think should be the panthers main focus this offseason? I Say defensive and offensive line.

Yes.

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@kdenning22 what are your thoughts on free agency? do we have money to make any noise with some big names?

First, I’m wondering if we’ll see even more of what we saw last spring when teams increasingly traded for help. I’ve never been a big proponent of spending big in free agency, and as Pro Football Talk (via Andrew Siciliano) pointed out Thursday, not one guy from last year's free agent class made the Pro Bowl as a starter.

As far as the Panthers’ potential involvement, David Tepper used the phrase “selectively aggressive” when I asked him how aggressive he’d like to be in free agency. What does that mean? Well, that's impossible to know until we go through at least one offseason in this new era.

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Website submission from Rob in Houston, TX: First off, I miss living in the Carolinas! However, Houston has been a fun sports town of late to live in so there's that. My question is do you think it would be a wise move to possibly give up a first rounder or more to try and grab a DeMarcus Lawrence type of FA for the D Line? Seemed to have worked out well for the Bears with Mack. Thanks and KeepPounding from Texas!

While I like the idea of trades, one of the reasons the Bears were able to trade and sign a big-ticket item like Mack is they have a quarterback on a rookie contract.

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@BlindWillie88 Let's play a twist on a party game: Draft, Buy or Hold. Between Safety, DE and OL, which position would you say is a top draft priority, which is a top free agent priority and which has a solution on the roster?

I’d expect them to use free agency (or trades) to plug holes before the draft, but in the spirit of your question I’ll go:

Draft – OL

Buy – DE

Hold – S

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@Thebirdflu When will the dates, times and tickets be up for the London game?

Would look for that around the schedule release in mid-April.

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@Masonjt24 #GrillBill, what do you see the #Panthers doing with the 16th pick in the upcoming NFL Draft? #KeepPounding!

There’s more than two months, a combine and free agency to go. So I see them either taking a player or trading out of the spot.

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@justinlmyers Will the Panthers draft Zion?

Gonna be tough if they stay at 16.

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@wharding6 How you doing Bill?

You should see some of the questions that don’t make it on here. So could use a drink.

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Website submission from Dave in Charleston, SC: Saw the article about Olsen and Urlacher watching the movie when they found out he was traded, and it made me curious.... who rooms with who on road trips? How is that decided?

I did some capital-J journalism for you and found out the Panthers try to match players up by position group - or at least by which side of the ball they play on. And for the most part, guys on their first contracts have roommates. Once you get to year four or five, that's when you don't have to worry about a snorer.

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