Cam Newton is the starter in Carolina, but the depth behind him is less than stellar and the Charlotte Observer believes the Panthers are going to look to free agency to fix that little problem. With Derek Anderson unlikely to return, David Garrard is beginning to look more and more like a fit for Cam Newton’s backup in Carolina.
The free-agent pool for quarterbacks is filled with backups, and Garrard, though he hasn’t played since the 2010 season, has a history with Panthers offensive coordinator Mike Shula. If Anderson decides to go to Cleveland, Garrard, a former East Carolina standout, can be a cheap pick-up for Carolina.
The only hangup for the Panthers seems t be money, as they beat the Friday deadline to cut Chris Gamble and get under the $123 million salary cap. Even if Anderson wants to return to Carolina, he likely won’t take a low enough salary and he’s a much better fit with the Browns. Carolina might be better off grabbing Garrard even if Anderson doesn’t land in Cleveland, as Garrard could be not only a backup, but a mentor for the young Newton who has basically been on his own since being drafted, in terms of being the quarterback on the Panthers depth chart.
Garrard is going to come cheap, but his value may extend beyond what he can do providing peace of mind for the Panthers coaching staff. He’s been linked to the New York Jets, but even if he knows he’s not going to start, Carolina might be the best option for David Garrad and vice versa for the Panthers.