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The 7 - Football - Troy Vincent in Carolina Blue?
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Jaguar
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#1 Posted on 5.2.04 1726.02
Reposted on: 5.2.11 1726.05
The Charlotte Observer (charlotte.com) (you need to be registered to read the article)
Posted on Thu, Feb. 05, 2004

Eagles' Vincent sweet on Panthers
Veteran faces free agency, says he could help NFC champs

PAT YASINSKAS
Staff Writer

HONOLULU - Troy Vincent has a couple messages for the Carolina Panthers.

They might seem a bit surprising considering Vincent is a veteran cornerback for the Philadelphia Eagles, the team the Panthers defeated in the NFC Championship Game.

"Humbly I say and honestly I say, the two best teams were playing in the Super Bowl," Vincent said this week after a practice session for his fifth consecutive Pro Bowl. "There were comments coming out of our locker room after we lost to Carolina that were saying the best team didn't win. No, the best team did win that day. They went on and proved that in Super Bowl XXXVIII."

Vincent said Carolina's 32-29 loss to New England was additional proof the Panthers were the NFC's best team.

"You talk about a team that won on the road in the playoffs," he said. "Basically, that doesn't happen. That starts with great coaching, players believing in one another and believing in themselves, believing in the system and just going out and playing the game."

All those kudos were followed by another surprise that, in light of Vincent's situation, perhaps shouldn't be all that shocking. After eight seasons with the Eagles, it appears he is about to become a free agent. His contract is scheduled to expire when the league year begins in early March and he already is looking at alternatives.

"Carolina would be at the very top of my list," Vincent said. "I hope this message gets back to Charlotte. I would love the opportunity to go to Carolina. It's home for me. (Carolina defensive coordinator Mike) Trgovac and I have a little history from when he was an assistant in Philadelphia and I'd love to play for him and coach (John) Fox.

"To have a chance to help a team that was one or two players away from winning Super Bowl XXXVIII would be tremendous. I believe that I could make a difference and help solidify a team that can make another run like that next year."

Most of Vincent's family lives near Roanoke Rapids, and he recently built a house in nearby Gaston. While he voiced his interest in Carolina, he did say some kind things about the Eagles. But it was obvious that Vincent, like many in Philadelphia and around the league, believes he won't be back.

The Eagles face some potential salary cap problems and might not be able to keep together a team that's been to three straight conference championship games. Cornerback Bobby Taylor also is scheduled to become a free agent and that could make Vincent the odd man out.

"It was time well spent," Vincent said. "I tip my hat to (Eagles owner) Jeffrey Lurie and (team president) Joe Banner and I thank coach (Andy) Reid for the opportunity to have played for him. My stay has been wonderful. Philadelphia's been great to me and my family. We don't know what the future will bring."

The free agency period is almost a month away and the Super Bowl run made it impossible for the Panthers to start working on an offseason plan. The coaches and front office won't start talking about it until next week after taking most of this week off, and it remains to be seen if a team that likes to build through the draft will be interested in a 32-year-old cornerback.

But Vincent said he sees himself fitting in perfectly with the Panthers.

"Based on the outcome of Super Bowl XXXVIII, if Carolina wins that game, there might not be a need for that position," Vincent said. "But it was obvious that the secondary can be upgraded and you can bring on more talent to help out."

Vincent might have a point. Although rookie Ricky Manning played well late in the season and in the playoffs, he struggled in the Super Bowl. So did the other starting cornerback, Reggie Howard, who is scheduled to become an unrestricted free agent. Terry Cousin remains under contract, but he has a high salary cap figure and lost his starting job to Manning late in the season.

Manning seems likely to be ticketed for one starting position next year, but the other spot remains a question mark. Fox has wanted a shutdown corner since he came to the Panthers in 2002.

The crop of cornerbacks that can become free agents is deep, with Washington's Champ Bailey, Oakland's Charles Woodson and Seattle's Shawn Springs heading the list.

Bailey is likely to be retained with Washington's franchise tag, and the Raiders could do the same with Woodson.

That could put Vincent at or near the top of the class, and the Panthers will have some salary cap room if they decide to make a move.

"I haven't talked to Philadelphia, so you start saying, `Who's in need of a corner? Who's in the market for a corner?' " Vincent said. "I keep thinking Carolina will be in the market, and I'd love to be there.

"There's always a shortage of good corners, as we all well know."

*********

With 13 million in cap room (though that's going to fall as Steve Smith and others are going to want some nice big contracts) I think (hope?) a lot of free agent corners could be thinking about coming down here to play.

A question for Eagles fans: Has Vincent got anything left in the tank? He didn't really get a chance to show all that much in the NFC title game, and I've blocked out the catastrophe when the Eagles came to Carolina earlier this year. So can he play, or is he pretty much done?

-Jag

Of course, lots of players who look 'done' seem to get refreshed when they find a new team.

(edited by Jaguar on 5.2.04 1829)
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#2 Posted on 5.2.04 2104.29
Reposted on: 5.2.11 2104.40
Heh, I'm using the Panthers in Owner's Mode in Madden 2004 and I ended up signing Vincent in my third season. Of course, he retired a year later.
The Thrill
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#3 Posted on 6.2.04 0614.29
Reposted on: 6.2.11 0614.58
Considering he's a Badger alum, I'd love to see Vincent return to Wisconsin and beef up the Packers' secondary.

Ain't happenin', though. *sigh*
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#4 Posted on 6.2.04 1218.33
Reposted on: 6.2.11 1220.15
Aren't Charles Woodson and Champ Bailey also restricted free agents this year? Champ would be a steal, but the Skins will likely lock him up longterm.
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#5 Posted on 7.2.04 0835.41
Reposted on: 7.2.11 0835.55


Hmmm...it's hard to really even answer that, as he's was hurt more this season than at any time I can remember, plus teams spent most of their time running on the Iggles anyway. As much as I'd like him to stay in Philly (and I think he played a lot better than Bobby Taylor, who let himself get turned every which way on too many plays this year), apparently it's not gonna happen. If you're looking for a smart veteran leader in the locker room , you have it in Vincent; and while never really the fastest DB, he can still cover most guys in the league one on one.
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#6 Posted on 9.2.04 1623.59
Reposted on: 9.2.11 1624.56
    Originally posted by Jaguar
    A question for Eagles fans: Has Vincent got anything left in the tank? He didn't really get a chance to show all that much in the NFC title game, and I've blocked out the catastrophe when the Eagles came to Carolina earlier this year. So can he play, or is he pretty much done?

    -Jag

    Of course, lots of players who look 'done' seem to get refreshed when they find a new team.

    (edited by Jaguar on 5.2.04 1829)


Depends how much they're planning on paying him.

When he did play this season it definately looked like he'd lost half a yard. Whether that was because he was struggling for fitness or father time is simply catching up on him I know not.

If you were couting him in Madden he would be reported as 'Pretty fast, just don't line him up against Moss'

I'd far sooner see us keep Bobby Taylor given the choice. He also toiled a bit, partly with injuries, but he's a fair bit younger and if we can get a decent run D so he can concentrate on coverage then he'll be fine.

Vincent'll do a job for a season or 2 at Carolina if he goes though, and he's one of those guys that can elevate people around him. Unless theres a lot of depth at CB in the draft I'd say you should be happy to take him.
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