Yeah, what a nontroversy this has been.
Listen, it's extremely unlikely Olsen's getting the Monday Night Football job. At least not this go-around. He knows that. The Panthers know that. So there was no "leverage" being played. But when ESPN calls to at least give you a look, you jump at the opportunity. And Olsen, who will be behind a mic whenever his playing days are done, got to add some high-profile reps to his résumé.
My main point is there's no question in anyone's mind around here that Olsen's playing for the Panthers this season. After 2018? That's a legit storyline. I'm guessing he'll be offered an extension sometime before the start of the regular season, and from there it'll depend on whether the two sides can agree on numbers.
Nah. They'd love to add another weapon for Cam Newton and get a potential Olsen replacement in the pipeline. Those goals and the possibility of Olsen playing beyond this season aren't mutually exclusive.
Probably not. Not necessarily because they took a back in the first last year. Mostly because I don't see him as a good fit.
Email from Eric:*Hey Bill, do you see the Panthers making a late-round selection of Shaquem Griffin? *
Selfishly, I'd dig it. There may be no better story in this draft. But he's a linebacker in a safety's body, and again, so much of this is about fit. Don't think he is one here.
Website submission from Terry in Pawleys Island, S.C.:What happened to Derek Anderson?
Pretty sure nothing's happened to him. Last I heard he's healthy and happy on some golf course in Arizona.
Football-wise, there's still a good chance he'll eventually sign on for another stint with the Panthers. This week's addition of doesn't change the fact they still need to bring in someone they can truly trust to back up Cam Newton.
I'm not as convinced as I was a couple of months ago, but it's still possible they'll pick one up. I wouldn't do it in the first five rounds, but if there's an intriguing arm in the sixth or seventh …
Email from John in Durham:How does Daeshon Hall look? Has he packed on some muscle?
I haven't talked to him yet, but Bryan Strickland did and Hall told him, "my knee feels pretty good." That's step one.
Step two: I'm not going to pretend to be one of those guessers at an amusement park, so I'm not sure if Hall's up to his listed weight of 265. But he definitely looks like he's added a bit of bulk. That's important because they really need to get some production this season from last year's third-round pick.
Website submission from Mitch in Greensboro: Hey Bill!.....or should I say....William. Was wondering how good is Corn Elder? I have heard he was a bulldog in college and think the D could use a "Steve Smith/ Josh Norman" type figure back there. I think that's how they get back to 2015 form. Thoughts?
You can call me William, though no one else does. My family still calls me Billy, but I don't think we're on that level yet, Mitchell.
Sure, Elder has an edge to him. He has to at 5-foot-10. But because he essentially redshirted as a rookie, it's way too early to tell if he's even close to the Steve Smith/Josh Norman stratosphere.
You're right, the secondary does need to up its tenacity. That's why I think Jaire Alexander could be a good pick next week. The Louisville cornerback/Charlotte native has an attitude, and while a guy like that could make the Panthers' PR team uncomfortable at times, it'd sure make my job more fun.
Email from Brett:How can we rid the world of mock drafts? It seems like everyone on Twitter that has a blue check is an "expert." If you put out 30 mocks a week at some point you'll hit on one. Also, any way you have your own weekly podcast where you talk about Panthers, Cleveland teams and anything else going on? Would be a good listen.
PREACH, Brett. Something about a broken clock.
As much as I may enjoy talking about Cleveland teams – and yes, I'm using the word "enjoy" loosely – odds are the Panthers' audience wouldn't be all that interested. But I did run across this piece of perspective last night:
Know how the Panthers opening away from home was a thing the past few years? Well, remember, things could always be worse. The Browns have had plenty of Week 1 games at home since coming back in 1999. Their record in those games? 1-14.