Carolina Panthers

Carr's a lemon, let's keep ol' Vinny

CHARLOTTE -- We've known for months that quarterback David Carr wasn't the future for the Carolina Panthers.

We've known (officially) for a week that he's not the present, either.

But you know what? The Panthers might have just found their quarterback depth chart for 2008 by accident, and it might be the best plan they can put together.

There's no point to start anyone but Vinny Testaverde the rest of this season, and there's no logical reason not to sign him for next year, either.

Sounds crazy, but nine months ago, a lot of you wanted to start Carr over a healthy Jake Delhomme, and how's that sounding to you right now?

When you look at the free agent market for next year, there's at most one unrestricted guy who's a clear upgrade over Testaverde, and that's Oakland's Josh McCown. He's good enough to start a lot of places, and could well get that chance. If you can't get him (and they should have two years ago), there's not a single name on the list you ought to trust more.

There are enough reasons not to keep Testaverde if he makes you skittish, chief among them not being able to play 10 games in a row without his body breaking down. Honestly, if they get in another situation where the backup has to play the majority of the season, they can let the next coach and GM make that call, assuming the current ones get to make this decision.

The idea of keeping Testaverde hinges on two elements.

The first would be they're confident Delhomme's going to come back healthy from his recent elbow surgery. Delhomme feels good about it, but you'd not expect him to say otherwise.

So assuming Delhomme's well, and assuming Carr's gone, and assuming they use the summer to decide between Matt Moore and Brett Basanez as the third, Testaverde might just be the perfect guy. He won't need a lot of reps in camp, and since Delhomme's going to be on a pitch count early, that'll just give them more time to think about the future.

Because the guy they've got now is fine for the present.

Sure, it sounds nuts to bring back a 45-year-old to be your backup.

But they've already done something nuttier in entrusting the job to Carr, so it might just be crazy enough to work.

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