This year Legedu Naanee is going to be a free agent. At the end of this past season Ron Rivera was acting like he wanted Legedu back for the 2012 season. However, I believe it is in the team’s best interest to not resign him. Naanee started about 75% of the games last year and really didn’t provide the Panthers with much production. He had 44 catches for 476 yards, and one touchdown; and more importantly he only averaged 10 yards per catch. Brandon LaFell was targeted twenty less times than Naanee, but still had 7 more catches that resulted in gains of twenty or more yards.
The Panthers also have David Gettis, who will be healthy for this upcoming season. With Gettis and LaFell I think you have all you need at the receiver position behind Steve Smith. However, if Rivera does decide to resign Naanee and plays him ahead of Gettis and LaFell, then I will seriously start to doubt Rivera’s coaching ability and decision-making. Because let’s be honest, Naanee has nowhere near the skill or potential of LaFell and Gettis.
With Cam dropping back in the pocket and being able to throw to Smith, LaFell, Gettis, and Olsen, he might shatter the passing numbers he set last year. And once you take into account our ability to run the ball out of the read-option then you’re looking at an offense that could be virtually unstoppable. This coaching staff is going to have a lot of difficult decisions to make in the upcoming months. I just hope that electing to not resign Legedu Naanee and continuing the progression of Gettis and LaFell is one of them.