By Andrew Schuster @ShootsMcGavin on May 22, 2014
The Panthers are looking to have another big year to defend their title as NFC South champions. With organized team activities (OTAs) beginning to kickoff, let's go ahead and take a look at five rumors surrounding the franchise at the moment.
The Carolina Panthers and their two defensive back draft selections, Tre Boston and Bene Benwikere, have agreed to terms on rookie contracts. Boston, their fourth-round pick, is a safety out of the University of North Carolina. Benwikere is their fifth-round cornerback from San Jose State.
Apparently a handful of NASCAR drivers, including Carl Edwards and Kyle Busch, are unhappy with Luke Kuechly's driving. The Panthers' Pro-Bowl linebacker was given the opportunity to drive the pace car in Saturday's Sprint All-Star Race at Charlotte Motor Speedway, but the drivers participating said that he was too slow. It's all good, though; Kuechly is paid to play football, not drive cars around in a circle.
Former Panthers QB Jake Delhomme spoke out on the departures of wide receiver Steve Smith and retired offensive tackle Jordan Gross. He said that those are two difficult players to replace and that it would be tough for Carolina to make the playoffs again this year. He may be right about the replacement part, but the Panthers' still have a good shot at making the postseason as long as Cam Newton and their defense is in tip-top form.
Sixth-round pick Tyler Gaffney will miss the first four weeks of OTAs. The former Stanford running back will actually be headed back to school to complete his double major in sociology and psychology, since the university is on the quarter system.
Pro-Bowl DE Greg Hardy apparently made an appearance at voluntary workouts less than a week after he was charged with misdemeanor assault charges on a female. Hardy apparently tossed a woman onto a bed covered in guns. The Panthers are going to "let the legal process take its course." If Hardy is forced to miss anytime, rookie DE Kony Ealy will have some big shoes to fill.
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