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The safety market fizzled this offseason

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Carolina Panthers Hoodie , and Mike Mitchell believes he knows why.Mitchell, who signed with the Colts this week, intimated teams lowballed all safeties to avoid the appearance of collusion against Eric Reid. 鈥淵ou know what happened,鈥?Mitchell told Stephen Holder of The Athletic. 鈥淚 don鈥檛 need to say it. I know what you know.鈥漅eid filed a collusion grievance against the NFL seven weeks after becoming a free agent. He finally signed a free agent deal Sept. 27 but got only a one-year, $1.39 million deal from the Panthers.Mitchell made $20 million from the Steelers over the past four seasons. He will get the prorated portion of the veteran minimum $915,000 the rest of this season.鈥淚f you鈥檙e working a regular job and you鈥檙e making $100,000 and then, the very next year, they want you to do the exact same work for $20,000, you鈥檇 be a little perplexed about that situation,鈥?Mitchell said. 鈥淚 don鈥檛 think it鈥檚 any different here.鈥 Welcome ladies and gentlemen to the Hog Molly Report, where winning in the trenches is all that matters. Before we begin, we open with the reciting of our usual motto:In the spirit of Mr. Gettlemanís words (regardless of him having moved on) and the philosophy of building a team from the inside out, my goal will be to watch the hog mollies each game during the season and give them a grade based on their performance. This week we will look at the anemic loss to Washington where the Panthers failed to overcome a couple early turnovers, and fell to 3-2 on the season. This game continued the trend we saw last week for the two lines. The offensive line continues to play at a higher level than expected, while the defensive line (and defense in general) are decidedly underwhelming.Offensive Hog MolliesYards per Carry: 4.5, season: 5.0 (T-5th, NFL)Yards per Play: 6.0, season: 5.7 (19th, NFL)Sacks allowed: 1, season: 8 (T-2nd, NFL)Third downs converted: 3 of 9 or 33% Customized Carolina Panthers Jerseys , season: 38% (21st, NFL)Rating: 4 out of 5 Porcine PulverizersThe Carolina Panthers offensive line has been stronger than expected, and other than Chris Clark, that trend continued this week. Clark gave up five pressures on the day, with two coming on the final drive. The other linemen had one a piece, with Ryan Kalil turning in a perfect day with zero. The pressures given up by Greg Van Roten and Trai Turner were inopportune however, as they resulted in the sack/fumble (recovered) and the Cam Newton interception.Hereís a brief sack report:1st Sack: Q1 0:45, 1st & 10, WAS 47 - Washington sends six guys on a well timed blitz against play action, Panthers have six in to block. Chris Manhertz loses bad on the right side, Greg Van Roten follows suit on the left. Cam Newton avoids both rushers by stepping up, but as he steps up, D.J. Swearinger is there to meet him on a late blitz. Ball comes out right into Greg Van Rotenís hands, Carolina keeps, but it is a sack. Sack should be credited to Greg Van Roten, as him getting beat pushed Cam right into Swearinger.The Panthers however continue to be one of the best teams in the league at keeping their quarterback clean, combining better than expected pass protection with more quick passes. That said, the team went downfield more often in this game than they have in many others, helped by a return of Greg Olsen. Despite a decent yards per carry average, the team didnít find much room to run consistently as Washington really tightened the reins in stopping that attack. Most of those runs upping the average were improvisations by Cam Newton. Fans are starting to get impatient with the situational play-calling, and I would say that complaint right now is warranted.Defensive Hog MolliesYards per Carry: 4.7, season: 4.6 (T-23rd, NFL)Yards per Play: 4.5 www.authenticscarolinapanthers.com , season: 6.5 (24th, NFL)Sacks given: 3, season: 12 (T-22nd, NFL)Third down allowed %: 7 of 16 or 44%, season: 34% (9th, NFL)Rating: 3 out of 5 Perplexing PiggiesDespite a lot of complaining by fans during the game, the defensive line did a really good job pressuring Alex Smith this week than they have in other games this season. Mario Addison had a great day in this regard, and it was the week in the rotation for Vernon Butler and Kyle Love to play well, so they did. Those suggesting that Dontari Poe has been ineffective should look at his work when he draws a one on one and rethink their stance, but I would like to see him make more impact even when double teamed.However, the real problem on this defense right now is stopping the run, reflected by our bottom ten ranking in yards per carry. This is very unusual for a Carolina defense, and right now it seems to be breaking everything. We just made Adrian Peterson look about five years younger, and if we had more success our offense probably would have had a few more drives and pulled this game out. Julius Peppers has not been holding up his end of the bargain in this part of the game, and despite his first sack of the season, itís clear that we must invest in the defensive end position early next year in the draft.nextgenstats.nfl.comHog Molly of the Week: Mario AddisonMario Addison turned in a performance that, like Josh Norman, made his former team cringe about the fact they ever let him walk. Four tackles, one sack, and another three quarterback pressures was a very good day from him and was instrumental in deflating Alex Smithís numbers to his lowest single game total by far this season. The Panthers will absolutely need to find him a new running mate next year, and I donít think that person is currently on the roster.
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