No. 2 – DON’T constantly fall back on Panthers familiarity
This ties in somewhat from the previous slide, specifically in regards to Cam Newton. But it’s a warning that spans across the positional board.
If anyone can criticize anything Ron Rivera has done to this point, it’s that he tends to have an over-reliance on his former Panthers connections. This isn’t always a bad thing. It wasn’t with Scott Turner, or Sam Mills, or Pete Hoerner, or Taylor Heinicke. But some, like Marcus Baugh and Thomas Davis, didn’t work out (Also still not bullish on Marty Hurney, even in his limited role). There is a point on the chart where the connections don’t actively increase efficiency of production.
That isn’t to say that the Washington Football Team should avoid Panthers free agents altogether. Curtis Samuel would be an excellent high-upside fit for Washington, and should be pursued. Tre Boston would also be a good fit on the defensive side of the ball, and he’d likely be cheaper than other options. And a few low-cost depth players likely wouldn’t hurt, either.
The key here is to use discretion — the same discretion a team would use, were they evaluating a non-Panthers player. Mere familiarity shouldn’t be a reason to sign someone. Yes, familiarity itself does provide some value, but the Washington Football Team’s analysis of Panthers free agents should expand beyond that. Are they cost-effective? Are they a long-term asset? Are they still in their prime? Can the money be better spent elsewhere?
Those free agents with which Ron Rivera has a history should not be given a pass. The connection factor should not bump them ahead of better diagnostic options. Each Panthers free agent should be assessed individually, and from there, Washington can figure out how to proceed.