With Mike Minter heading into his mid-thirties and a lack of legitimate depth at the safety position, the Panthers will have to look towards the future, and the draft may be the place to find a safety. Minter has claimed that he will retire after the ’07 season, so the team must begin preparing for his impending departure now.
Also on defense, the linebacker unit will need to be addressed. Thomas Davis was quite productive last season and Na’il Diggs is back, but the bench’s talent and potential is in question. Dan Morgan’s concussion injury may spell the end—although he hopes to return. Regardless of Morgan’s status, the team will need to find insurance at the position.
On offense, the Panthers have serviceable parts, but tight end Michael Gaines did not produce enough in the passing game. Carolina needs a tight end that will help take pressure off of receivers Steve Smith and Keyshawn Johnson. Gaines is still just twenty-seven, so his progress and development will play a large role in the choices that the team makes regarding the position.
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