This has been a difficult offseason for the Carolina Panthers. The franchise’s greatest player of all-time and greatest offensive lineman ever both have moved on. Things may be getting worse. Travelle Wharton, who graded out as the fifth best guard in the NFL last season per Pro Football Focus, is reportedly leaning towards retirement.
#Panthers FA guard Travelle Wharton, attending South Carolina pro day, says he is leaning toward retirement. But no final decision yet.
— Joe Person (@josephperson) April 2, 2014
We reported that Wharton, 32, was considering retirement back in February. His retirement would create another huge hole on the offensive line for the Panthers. One of the guard spots will be occupied by 2012 second round pick Amini Silatolu, who made the all-rookie team in his first year and played well early last season before an ACL tear knocked him out. However, the other spot is up in the air. Right now, it appears either Chris Scott or 2013 fourth round pick Edmund Kugbila, who missed all of his rookie season due to injury will get the nod at right guard, which is a major concern.
Most of the quality options in free agency have dried up so look for Carolina to take a look at some of the top offensive guards in the upcoming NFL draft. This could make players such as Notre Dame’s Zack Martin and UCLA’s Xavier Su’a-Filo more attractive at number 28 because of their versatility.