Headlines Leading Up To First Carolina Panthers Game


Dec 21, 2014; Charlotte, NC, USA; Carolina Panthers cornerback

Josh Norman

(24) returns an interception during the fourth quarter against the Cleveland Browns at Bank of America Stadium. The Panthers won 17-13. Mandatory Credit: Jeremy Brevard-USA TODAY Sports

Well, I am going to hit on a few quick things leading up to the first game for the Carolina Panthers. The first thing to mention is the fact that Josh Norman and Ryan Kalil look likely to play Sunday for the Panthers. Josh Norman was going through concussion protocol after getting hit in the head during the last preseason game against the Pittsburgh Steelers. Ryan Kalil was dealing with a sprained knee the past few weeks and looks to be healthy again. Both of these guys are going to be needed badly Sunday.

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Star Lotulelei is out unfortunately which will be a big blow to the defensive tackle group. The thing is the Panthers are deep at the defensive tackle position and should be able to withstand the blow caused by Star being out. I look for Kawann Short to have a good game against the Jacksonville Jaguars. If he can get going then we will be just fine without Star. There is a reason Dave Gettleman drafted two DTs back to back in that draft that featured Star and Short.

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  • On the contract negotiations front Luke Kuechly agreed to a 5 year, 62 million dollar contract, which had me happy as can be. LUKKKEEEEEEEE is a beast and I am glad to see the Panthers keep him long term. With that signing the Panthers now have their two cornerstone pieces in Cam Newton and Kuechly locked up. Newton is on the team through 2020 and Kuechly is on the team through 2021. Gettleman has done a nice job of keeping the right pieces in place so far.

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    Since we are mentioning contract talks we do have bad news and that is that Josh Norman did not get a contract extension before the start of the season. Contract talks between Norman and the Panthers stalled recently and Gettleman does not believe in contract negotiations during the season. So, it looks like Norman will end the season this season as a free agent on the market. Norman is taking a big gamble on himself and hopefully it pays off for him in the long run.

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  • Norman wants to be paid like a top corner and he has a case based on last season’s stats. However, Norman has not been consistent enough to get that much money yet. If Norman has another season like last season he will more than likely get that big paycheck. I still do not know if that is with the Panthers. We shall see what happens.

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  • Well that is it for now and I will keep you informed as much as possible throughout the season. I will have a review of the first game for the Panthers on Monday. So, you know what to do, stay with oldnorthbanter.com for all your North Carolina sports news. GO PANTHERS!

    Next: Luke Kuechly: Rich Man in the Middle