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As someone who can't help but have a casual interest in the Panthers down here, the LaFell thingy was high expectations combined with Newton learning to play the NFL level.
I will say, LaFell has taken baby steps to be better every year, which may be what BB is looking at there. Two factors are Newton's raw talent and the super high expectations of LaFell, but with LaFell progressing over his rookie deal.
Also, LaFell played with Ridley at LSU, so maybe that was taken into account in terms of having LaFell at least no one someone who was already here.
This could be a classic case of BB plucking a WR pretty cheaply on his way up, where Brady, the coaching, the system, etc, makes it a perfecty fit, where he outperforms the contract itself.
Britt, meanwhile, is a complete wildcard. Wildly talented, but immature and an off field risk. Vet minimum with incentives only, IMO.
1 year prove it deal.
You call $11 mill for 3 years cheap? For a #3 WR and also known as having stonehands? hopefully not much paid in guaranteed money and hope he doesn't cost much against the cap for this season.
I watched some film on the guy and hope to watch more. I don't know where the stone hands reputation has come from. On deep routes, maybe. But on the shorter routes he mostly runs, he caught the ball quite well. This guy isn't much of a deep receiver, but he looks to me like a big possession-type receiver who will do well in the short and intermediate parts of the field. I really like the signing, particularly given our weakness at TE. I think he fills the space between move TE and true "deep-threat" outside receiver and will give us some more size in the redzone. I'm not saying he'll be a Pro Bowler for us by any means, but I think he's a useful piece of the puzzle.
Dropped 6 of 49 recs last year, so he's not bad but not great either however as a #3 usually the catches are a bit easier because you typically aren't looking over your shoulder to see who's going to cover you. 3/11mil is quite a bit for a #3 type but lets see what the kid can do because he's still pretty young.
In the (admittedly small) sample of plays I looked at, he ran out of a lot of bunch formations where he was the underneath guy. That does make it a bit easier to get open as the coverage tended to focus on the guys going deeper.