Why Did the Panthers Keep Travelle Wharton?
Seriously, am I just giving Wharton too hard a time for his complete inability to block Falcons defensive end John Abraham, thus leading to Jake Delhomme's season-ending (and season-killing) elbow injury in Week 3 last season? Is he really good enough to warrant a six-year deal? And why exactly weren't terms disclosed? How much are they giving this guy?
The only reason I can see Wharton staying in Carolina is if they move him from left tackle to left guard and put Jordan Gross, who is expected to be franchise tagged any day now, at left tackle. That's where Gross and Wharton played in 2004. That O-line gave up 33 sacks that season -- the exact same number of sacks it gave up in 2007.
Which begs the question: shouldn't John Fox and Marty Hurney be trying to make this O-line better? How exactly does preserving the status quo do that?
UPDATE (2/15): Darin Gantt is reporting that Wharton is getting $35 million over 6 years. He calls it "Mike Wahle money" and thinks Wharton will only remain at tackle if the Panthers can't get one in the draft. Otherwise, he's a guard now.