Carolina Panthers Retrospective
NOTES: CB Marshall returns to practice, will sign tender offer; Gross back too E-mail
Written by Steve Reed   
Tuesday, 25 May 2010 12:58

Jordan Gross has returned to the field after breaking his leg last year. (Photo by John Clark)

   CHARLOTTE – With almost no leverage to work with, Carolina Panthers cornerback Richard Marshall returned to practice this week and said he’ll sign his tender offer soon.
   Marshall, a restricted free agent, skipped the team’s rookie minicamp after the Panthers used a second-round tender on him.
   Marshall will make $1.759 million this season once he signs. According to league rules he’ll need to do so before June 15 or the Panthers can reduce his salary to $583,000, which is 110 percent of last year’s base salary.
   When asked Tuesday if he’s upset over not getting a contract extension, Marshall replied, “No, I was never angry. I know it's a business and you know what to expect. I wasn't angry at all. I'm here now, happy, ready to practice with my teammates and get it going.”

   Marshall said he felt there was no sense missing anymore practice time.
   “It was real difficult (skipping minicamp) because I've been here for every offseason,” said Marshall, a second-round draft pick in 2006. “I consider myself a team player, a team guy. It was unacceptable as far as me not being here for my teammates. But it was a decision that I made. I'm here now ready to get it started and I'm looking forward to things to come.
    Marshall said he knew midway through last season the team was going to use the tender on him.
   As for getting a long-term extension, Marshall has all but put that out of his mind - at least for now. He said the team hasn’t contacted his agent Drew Rosenhaus about getting a new deal done, nor does he expect that to happen given the lack of a collective bargaining agreement and the potential for a lockout after the season.
   “I'm not worried about what's going to happen in the future,” Marshall said. “I'm here right now and my main focus is being here and practicing with the team. My contract, I'm not worried it about right now."
   Coach John Fox, who likewise is operating under a one-year contract, said he doesn’t think Marshall will be a distraction.
   “We've talked,” Fox said. “I just want to make sure, and he knows this, that he doesn't do anything to hurt his performance. I don't think he has at this point. He's obviously worked very hard. He's not the first guy to ever miss our offseason conditioning that came back in great shape. He's here now and looks very good.”

   GROSS RETURNS: Left tackle Jordan Gross is back on the practice field for the first time since breaking his leg. He participated in individual drills on Thursday before leaving practice early to head into the stadium to lift weights with the rest of the linemen.
   "It's doing good," Gross said of his surgically repaired leg. "It's nice to be back. I feel better than I've felt in years because I had a six-month hiatus (from playing football)."
   Running back Jonathan Stewart (foot), tackle Jeff Otah (knee) and defensive tackle Tank Tyler (knee) remain out. Linebacker Thomas Davis practiced on a limited basis.

   CHANGE IN SCHEDULE: The Panthers are working almost exclusively on passing plays during the first three days of minicamp after finishing 27th in that category last season. In fact, the team's linemen aren't expected to participate in any team drills until Thursday.