(The Spread) – The worst team in 2010 has spent big this offseason in efforts to not put them in position to be drafting No. 1 again next April. But will all the Panthers’ offseason spending make a difference in 2011?
Carolina’s NFC South rivals the Falcons wanted defensive end Charles Johnson. So what Panthers owner Jerry Richardson did was approve an offer for Johnson that he couldn’t refuse: $72 million. And just like that, one of the top defensive ends was instantly off the free agency market.
Richardson then tossed $43 million to keep running back DeAngelo Williams and another $12 million at kicker Olindo Mare to help shore up the kicking game. Richardson says that what the team has done since 2008 in terms of spending hasn’t worked and he apparently was willing to change that philosophy heading into this offseason.
But if the odds mean anything, all of these changes (which includes the addition of first overall pick Cam Newton) won’t help the Panthers win this year. According to oddsmakers from online sports book Bodog, the Panthers remain 150/1 long shots to win the 2012 Super Bowl, which are the same odds of the lowly Buffalo Bills. The Panthers also have the worst odds to win their conference this season (75/1), as well as the worst odds in the NFC South Division (+2000).
It’s understandable that oddsmakers are a little leery of the Panthers’ potential for success this season. After all, Johnson and Williams were on the same roster that produced only two wins last year and who knows what Newton will bring to the table as a rookie. There’s a good chance that this rebuilding project will take more time and more of Richardson’s money before it sees its completion.