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Monday, March 2, 2009
Finally, a Holliday season in Carolina?

By Pat Yasinskas
ESPN.com

Posted by ESPN.com's Pat Yasinskas

Now that Vonnie Holliday is available, wouldn't it make sense for the Carolina Panthers to bring in the defensive end?

That's something that should have happened over a decade ago. It seemed like a sure thing in 1998 that Holliday, a defensive end who went to college at North Carolina and grew up in South Carolina, would be Tampa Bay's first-round draft pick.

It seemed so obvious that even former Carolina personnel guru Dom Anile publicly said he'd be dancing in the streets if Holliday was available when the Panthers picked. Turned out Holliday was available.

But the Panthers, somehow, decided to draft Nebraska defensive end Jason Peter. That turned out to be one of the worst moves in Carolina history -- and the Panthers have had more than their share of bad ones, especially in their early years.

Peter was plagued by injuries and off-field problems and never developed into much. Holliday, who was drafted by Green Bay, hasn't had a spectacular career, but he has been a solid player. Imagine what he might have done if Carolina had taken him?

Well, it's a completely different situation now. But it could be more than a little ironic if Holliday ends up in Carolina after all these years. Don't rule it out. The Panthers like to bring players from the Carolinas home and they have a need at defensive end with the Julius Peppers' situation still up in the air. Also, at this point in his career, Holliday doesn't command a big salary and that could be attractive to the salary cap-strapped Panthers.