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Wednesday, February 24, 2010
Panthers may have trouble finding No. 2 WR

By Pat Yasinskas
ESPN.com

I just did a phone interview with the “Frank and Buck Show’’ on WFNZ in Charlotte and Mark Yarborough, who was sitting in as a host today, brought up what I think is an excellent question.

Yarborough asked how difficult it might be for the Carolina Panthers to attract a No. 2 WR in free agency. His point was that the uncertainty at quarterback might not be a real selling point to free agents.

The Panthers finished last season with Matt Moore as their starter after Jake Delhomme got hurt. Even before that, Delhomme had struggled mightily. When general manager Marty Hurney met with the media Tuesday, he wouldn’t elaborate much on what the Panthers plan to do at quarterback. They may sign a free agent or they may draft a quarterback. Or they may really go to camp and let Delhomme and Moore battle for the job.

They’ve also got veteran Muhsin Muhammad about to become a free agent. The Panthers may re-sign Muhammad, but, at this stage of his career, he’s probably best suited to be a No. 3 receiver. They need to get a younger starter to go with Steve Smith.

Any free agent that does his homework might be scared off by the history of that position with Carolina. Even back in the days when Delhomme was dependable, the Panthers didn’t have a strong track record with receivers aside from Smith.

Muhammad, who left for a three-year stint in Chicago before returning to the Panthers, has been the only No. 2 receiver to really have success and co-exist with Smith. The Panthers hoped Keary Colbert, Keyshawn Johnson, Drew Carter and Dwayne Jarrett could fill that role. None of them did.

It might be difficult to sell a free agent on coming into a place with uncertainty at quarterback and an offense that has relied almost exclusively on one wide receiver.