It’s our Weekly Mailbag! Remember that if you’d like your question about the Carolina Panthers answered, you can tweet us @Cover32_CAR or you can ask in the comments section. Now for this week’s question.
“I’m really perplexed at this Kenjon Barner trade. We already lost Tyler Gaffney to the Patriots so our depth at running back wasn’t great. Why’d we give him to Philly for just a seventh round pick?”
–Kaci in Aynor, SC
There were some high hopes for Barner this offseason but he never quite lived up to them. This was a shrewd move by Dave Gettleman to get something for Barner when there was a good chance he wasn’t going to make a team.
Don’t scoff at seventh round picks either. They aren’t overly valuable but very good players, such as Marques Colston and Captain Munnerlyn, have come out of that round.
Jonathan Stewart looked very healthy on Sunday night against the Kansas City Chiefs so there’s decent running back depth between him, DeAngelo Williams, and Mike Tolbert. Will it be that way all season? That remains to be seen, but at this point, Barner wasn’t going to see the field as a running back.
Where Barner really messed up was by not asserting himself as a quality kick returner. The coaching staff had been expecting him to fill the void left by Ted Ginn Jr. but he’s been pretty miserable returning kicks in both preseason games. Once the coaching staff realized he wouldn’t be the kick or punt returner, Barner essentially became worthless to the team.