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Carolina Panthers Could Target Two Young New York Giants WRs: Domenik Hixon & Ramses Barden

March 4th, 2013 at 9:30 AM
By Dan Benton

With the new league year just around the corner, NFL teams are in the final stages of preparation for what will be, as it always is, a wild start to free agency. For the Carolina Panthers and new General Manager David Gettleman, a veteran cornerback and youth at wide receiver appear to be the focus. And because of his New York Giants ties, the Panthers could (and likely will) take a long, hard look at free agents Domenik Hixon and Ramses Barden.

The Charlotte Observer reported on Monday that expectations are that the Panthers sign not just one, but both of the Giants' free agent wide receivers.

Given his ties to the organization, expect Gettleman to bring in a couple of former Giants. New York has a pair of free agent wideouts who are 28 or younger – Domenik Hixon and Ramses Barden. Hixon has more experience and has been productive in a part-time role. But the 6-foot-6, 224-pound Barden is the type of big, physical receiver who could thrive in the Panthers’ vertical passing game.

Barden acknowledged last week that it's "probably best" to move on from the Giants, but Hixon has sung a different tune. In early January, the veteran wideout said he's learned from some of his former teammates that the grass isn't always greener on the other side, and that he'd like to remain with the team.

For Barden, a move to Carolina may be exactly what the doctor ordered. And of all the teams in the league, the Panthers are perhaps the most intimately familiar with the former third-round pick, whose only career start came against them in week three of last season. He hauled an impressive nine reception for 138 yards, and proved he can compete in this league if given the right opportunity.

Team can begin negotiating with free agents on March 8th and then officially sign them on March 12th, so we'll have a better indication of how serious the Panthers are about these two on Friday.

photo credit: Football Schedule via photopin cc


Tags: Carolina, Carolina Panthers, David Gettleman, Domenik Hixon, Football, New York, New York Giants, NFL, Ramses Barden

25 Responses to “Carolina Panthers Could Target Two Young New York Giants WRs: Domenik Hixon & Ramses Barden”

  1.  Dirt says:

    Demo, et al,

    It wasn’t me crushing Coughlin. I could care less what he’s doing off the field (so long as it doesn’t include beating women or killing people).

    What I said was I’d be curious to see if anyone else crushes him, like so many have done to Tuck and Cruz for their off-field endeavours when their play slipped. It’d only be consistent.

  2.  demo3356 says:

    I hear ya bro, but starting a clothing line and making tons of commercials is a little different than a couple of book signings in the first week of March.

  3.  fanfor55years says:

    I hope we can retain Hixon. Not only a fine #4-#6 receiver but a savvy return guy who could do that in a pinch, and a great locker room presence who is loved by every player and coach.

    Glue guys like Hixon are hard to find. I don’t blame Gettleman for wanting him.

    Barden? Good riddance. If he plays with Newton he’ll make some catches because Cam can stretch out a play long enough for Barden to work open, but he’s still a bum who couldn’t beat any decent corner in the NFL on a normal pattern with normal time before the QB has to release the ball. He will always be a JAG, although that might be an insult to the JAGs of the NFL.

    • Dan BentonDan Benton says:

      This pretty much sums up how I feel.

      I’m a huge fan of Hixon the player and the person. Would hate to see him go.

      •  Dirt says:

        I’d love Hixon back at the vet min, despite my years of knocking him (after all, he’s the reason we drafted Nicks and Cruz exploded – the gift that keeps on giving, what’s not to like?!)

    •  Giantskillcowboys says:

      Hixon is more valuable to the Giants than Barden at this point because of Special teams and Hixon’s play time with Eli. I truly believe we wasted Barden and have been saying for months that if we didn’t re-sign him he would go to the Panthers, Jets, or an NFC East rival and thrive. He destroyed his Division 1a or II or whatever Cal Poly’s league is and had quite a few promising training camps with us. Coughlin and Gilbride just never let him see the field. We gave Cruz playing time after he almost didn’t make the team 2 years ago and look what he turned into because of playing time. I’m not saying Barden would have that type of success, but 6’6″ 225lb receivers who show signs of intelligence aren’t all that common. If there were 4 receivers on the depth chart in front of him, I could see why his snaps would be limited, but to not even but him on the field in goal-to-go situations and throw him a jump ball or use him as a decoy was stupid. I’m sure he’ll have some success wherever he winds up.

  4.  Nosh.0 says:

    Would suck to lose Hixon, but if he takes Barden with him it will be worth it. Was tired of always playing short handed with Barden and Beckum suiting up. Maybe now we will be able to field a full 53.

    •  jfunk says:

      Wait, Beckum suited up? :-P

      •  Nosh.0 says:

        Haha. At least a couple games this season, which we all know is a couple too many.

        •  fanfor55years says:

          Beckum was hosed. The kid has talent. He just didn’t fit the system here and that disconnect between Reese and Coughlin put him in an awful position.

          I watched him pretty carefully in a few games. I’m here to tell you that he knows how to get open and he can catch the ball. Eli hit him deep once, and he also made a few excellent intermediate catches that were impressive. But he’s a Dustin Keller or Hernandez type and the Giants were never going to use him as that. I’m still not sure why he couldn’t have been utilized as an H-back, which I think would have maximized his impact but, hey, what do I know?

          I would not be shocked to see Beckum do some good things if he gets on the right team. I can see him as the next Shiancoe.

          •  KingAndrewXXIII says:

            I never understood why the coaching staff never even TRIED some of the 2 TE looks with Beckum similar to how the Pats line up with Gronk and Hernandez. I am not sold one way or another on Beckum – I simply haven’t seen enough…but I do know that JR coveted him enough to take him fairly early on in the draft, which says something. I figure Beckum will go to a team that will figure out a way to best utilize his skill set and have a decent career. Nothing like Hernandez or Jimmy Graham…but possibly in the mold of Dustin Keller.

            •  Krow says:

              Yeah, agreed. We’ve chewed this ground before. And my one big complaint is that if blocking from a TE is so important why the hell did they throw away a 3rd round pick on Beckum? It wasn’t like he was some blocking phenom in college. They knew he was undersized … and not a traditional, in-line TE. Then selected him anyway.

  5.  fanfor55years says:

    Just had a very interesting discussion with a member of the ownership family of the Giants. Turns out that Bob Kraft ain’t telling the truth. There will, indeed, be a more substantial increase in the cap in 2015, and the Giants are going to be counting on that to get them out of cap distress. He doesn’t know the exact numbers, but said that these 2-3% annual increases are only temporary and there will be a different look to the cap after next season.

    A quick calculation on my part is that the increase in broadcast revenues will be about 60% above the current deal. Let’s assume that the players are entitled to about 50% of that. That’s a 30% increase in cap dollars, which would be around $36-37MM per annum. Even if that is spread out over a few years it should mean a cap of about $20MM more in today’s dollars by 2015. Our current dilemma would look a lot less troubling with those extra dollars. We’d be retaining Cruz, Bennett, Boothe and Phillips with just a minor adjustment in Eli’s and Rolle’s salaries.

    •  Chad Eldred says:

      I’m not trying to be a d!ck, but I don’t think that’s a secret. There are plenty of analysts, insiders, etc, that have said pretty much the same thing. The numbers vary of course, but the take home message is the same. The TV deal will kick in next year and since the cap is based on the previous year revenues, 2015 should see a substantial increase in the cap. I’m also under the impression that some of that will be set aside to address concussion issues, but it will be pretty small portion of revenue. At the end of the day 2015 will see a pretty decent cap increase.

      •  fanfor55years says:

        You may be right but Bob Kraft keeps insisting this isn’t the case. Why, I don’t know. But since he is considered a “very reliable source” there are a lot of folks who think this 2-4% annual increase is going to be the rule. I had started to assume he wouldn’t just lie about this so there had to be some truth to it. Apparently not.

        Makes me think he knew all about the videotaping that Belichick was commissioning. I also note that he is involved with a pretty young thing and was seen with her a few months after his wife died. Pretty crafty Kraft.

  6.  Krow says:

    47 minutes left to assign the franchise tag. KP or TBU … longshots, but remotely possible.

  7.  fanfor55years says:

    Two thoughts that I had while on vacation that will sound a bit off the wall to most:

    1) I think Reese will be able to sign some pretty decent free agents at very low cap numbers AFTER the draft and even close to the beginning of the season. I see a lot of pretty serviceable players being without jobs come late July and August. At that point a good number of them will happily take veteran minimum deals because it beats whatever else they could be doing. So if the Giants go after some free agents I don’t imagine it will be many come next week and I don’t think they’ll be looking to spend much either. I also think that some players (perhaps Boothe and Phillips) will be sorely disappointed by the market for their services and may come back to Reese hat in hand looking for whatever the Giants offered them and just hoping he will not discount from there. I think Bennett will get some decent offers and will be gone, but I’m not even sure of that: and

    2) Don’t laugh, but I can see the Giants trying hard to position themselves to draft Arthur Brown from Kansas State (who will probably grade out as a low first-round, high second-round, pick). Why? Because he played for three years against RGIII and did pretty darned well against him, and because he is a great antidote to the pistol offense that may be run by both the Skins and the Eagles this season. Add him to a solid pair of defensive tackles (VERY important against the pistol that the tackles get penetration and disrupt the timing of the reads and hand-offs) and some combination of Williams and Paysinger and the Giants could have a perfect antidote to an offense that bamboozled most last season and a Chip Kelly attack that will probably cause a lot of problems for most in 2013. Brown is “under-sized” but he is a great athlete with great instincts and he hits fast and hard. He would be a great second pick for us if he’s available. We need to win the division before we worry about the other stuff.

    •  fanfor55years says:

      I should add that, of course, the Giants COULD go after some among the potential “impact” players who could not only replace an albatross but set them up better for the draft. Maybe they go hard after Sean Smith but only at $5.5MM per annum and if they get him they cut Webster. Maybe they go after one of the fine offensive linemen and if they get him at their price they dump Diehl and wait for Boothe to come back at their price but don’t worry at all if he leaves.

      But I don’t see Reese using next week to go after a number of players, especially those who are quite serviceable but not terrific. My view is that if he wants a Kawika Mitchell or Deon Grant he will be able to get him later for around veteran minimum because there will be plenty of solid players sitting on their coaches and hoping for a call.

      •  GOAT56 says:

        These free agent deals are complicated. I don’t think you can view even the average per year as a true number since most will not play their deals out. While Beatty signed a 5 year 38.5 mil deal, the deal is really 3 years for about 24 mil. Once the dead money is down to just the signing bonus a player can be cut with minimal penalty. Even the Flacco deal I was reading is essentially a 3 year 60 mil deal with about 45 mil guaranteed.

        My point is that a CB could be signed to a 4 year 32 mil type but if that deal is back loaded and/or has low guarantees then it’s really a 2-3 year deal because the last year or years likely won’t be played out at such a high cap number.

    •  GOAT56 says:

      I mentioned Brown last week as my choice on where to go with our MLB position. One of the shocks of the combine was Brown measured out a 6’0″ 241. That is basically the same size as Teo and Ogletree. And the exact measurements of last year’s rookie MLB sensation, Booby Wagner. Brown was also a great player but just thought to be undersized. If he’s available in the 2nd round then I’m all for the pick. I think he provides more value than the questions Ogletree or Teo would bring at 19. But he provides a higher ceiling than players like Bostic because he looks to be a 3 down player.

      •  fanfor55years says:

        I think he played at KSU at a bit lower than that, but he’s well-built and hits hard. he also has phenomenal instincts. I would take him over Teo and Ogletree every day of the week.

        I really like Bostic, a lot, but I agree that Brown gives more versatility. He could be the single linebacker in the dime set and certainly one of the two in the nickel. Bostic is actually my pick for the two-down linebacker with the most potential and would be a terrific choice to compete with Herzlich and Blackburn and Muasau. But I’d take Brown over him in a flash. The kid is a real football player.

    •  Krow says:

      #2 is a very interesting point.

  8.  GOAT56 says:

    I disagree with some here on Beckum, he’s just a different sized JAG. I think Beckum was always a bad fit because he was severely undersized and couldn’t gain weight. Even Hernandez is 245 and he’s dynamic while Keller and Clark are both 250 or above. At 235, as a TE/HB in the NFL you are a very limited player. I thought that maybe he should lose 10 pounds and trying being a WR. Besides a few teams we fooled teams, it seems teams just played him like an extra WR which takes away his advantage. I think Barden is a more useful player because he can contribute at least as a redzone WR. While Beckum in a line up is a give away.

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