Why Carolina stood pat at this year's trade deadline


CHARLOTTE – The Panthers didn't make a move at the trade deadline this year, which should come as no surprise.

General manager Marty Hurney made a big splash last season when he traded wide receiver Kelvin Benjamin to the Bills before the deadline, but this is a different year and a much different Panthers team.

The Panthers didn't make any calls Tuesday, but teams inquired. It should be noted that many of those inquiries are nothing more than teams looking to pull a fast one. In other words, there is a lot of talk without a lot of substance this time of year.

Would some reinforcements at a position like defensive end be nice? Sure. But nothing made sense. And the Panthers don't exactly have a ton of cap space to work with.

Adding more speed and athleticism at the skill positions on both sides of the ball was already checked off the list offseason. Rookie wide receiver DJ Moore and rookie cornerback Donte Jackson are two terrific examples who will continue to make major contributions.

Depth along the offensive line was severely challenged earlier in the season when injuries kept coming, but Hurney addressed that by signing free agent left tackle Chris Clark, who has filled in admirably, and trading with the Bills for veteran tackle Marshall Newhouse, who provides some insurance.

And while he wasn't acquired via trade, Pro Bowl safety Eric Reid certainly classifies as a major addition.

When you bring in a new guy, especially someone who is going to start, you run the risk of messing with a team chemistry that the Panthers are very happy with at the moment. Not to mention the time it takes for a fresh face to get settled and learn the system to play up to his potential.

The Texans traded a fourth-round pick to the Broncos for wide receiver Demaryius Thomas with one year remaining on his contract. The Eagles traded a third-round pick to the Lions for wide receiver Golden Tate, who has a couple months remaining on his. Same with defensive end Dante Fowler Jr., who the Jaguars traded to the Rams for a third- and fifth-round pick.

Sometimes it helps to bring in a talented veteran on an expiring contract to get a team over the hump. Other times it's smarter to hold onto a future draft pick that comes with the security of a four-year contract.

At any rate, the Panthers' 53-man roster looks the same now as it did prior to the trade deadline. And at 5-2 coming off their most complete performance of the season, that makes perfect sense.