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Should Richard Marshall be a target for the Carolina Panthers to retain? A fan’s take
As a Carolina Panthers fan for the life of the franchise, it is very tough to decide sometimes about who to keep and who I would let go. Richard Marshall(notes) is a perfect example of such a player.Marshall is coming up as a potential free agent once the lockout ends and free agency begins.Most experts are saying that the Panthers should let him go. As a fan, I am inclined to agree with them.
Marshall has been a part of the Carolina franchise since being drafted in 2006 and I certainly would not mind his hanging around if he accepted a lesser role. The problem is, Marshall is not nearly as good as he thinks he is. Other teams seem to think that Marshall is some kind of coverage king or tackling machine and that is simply not the case. The fact is, Marshall is burned more often than most corners in the league and the tackling numbers are high due to more receptions allowed. When you give up more catches, you are going to have more tackles.
This creates a very interesting situation for the Panthers. If they did bring him back, what the heck would they do with him? As a starting corner, he is a weakness. As a nickel back he could be an All-Pro. Marshall certainly has his strengths. He is a physical and solid tackler that can make plays on the football at times.He is really the ideal nickel cornerback. Unfortunately, so is Captain Munnerlyn(notes). Munnerlyn is the other starting cornerback option that comes to mind and he has the same problem as Marshall.
Then comes Brandon Hogan(notes) in the 2011 draft. Hogan may end up being the wild card in this whole situation. Chris Gamble(notes) almost certainly will man one side. That much appears to be locked and loaded. Hogan, Munnerlyn, Marshall or even some new free agent could end up on the other side.
Signing Richard Marshall makes no sense to me for a few reasons, but the main reason is money. Marshall feels he is a top talent at the position in the league. So does some other teams throughout the league. To me, that means let Marshall head out to the free agent market and get his money. He has that right and the Panthers should not stand in his way. They also should not overpay a cornerback that is not going to give good return on the investment. That extra money they should have following the lockout could be much better spent.
I enjoyed watching Marshall at times over his career, but I think it is time to say goodbye.
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