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Shockey stands up for Richardson

One question I’ve heard from a lot of readers in recent weeks is how future free agents might view Carolina owner Jerry Richardson after he’s taken a hard-line stance throughout the labor talks.

There have been some reports that Richardson insulted Peyton Manning in a meeting the day before the Super Bowl. Richardson and Manning have been silent about that and New Orleans quarterback Drew Brees, who was in the room at the time, said the reports were overblown.

Either way, let’s address the question on the minds of many Carolina fans about Richardson and if players will want to play for him in the future. Let’s turn to the best and most recent indication.

New Carolina tight end Jeremy Shockey signed with the Panthers well after the alleged Richardson-Manning incident. In this radio interview with Charlotte’s WFNZ, Shockey defended Richardson.

"I don’t believe that is the case and what happened,'' Shockey said. "I was not there. I am one of those guys that has to be there and see it, hear it to touch to see if it is real, so I don’t think that was a big issue.’’

Shockey said he met Richardson before signing with the Panthers and was very impressed.

“He was a very, very, very polite, very southern hospitality kind of guy, so I don’t see that happening, what everyone said,’’ Shockey said. “He is the only owner in the league that has played the game. He is probably the only guy that actually gets what it is. What happens on both sides, so he is a very smart person. He went and played in this league and (to) be in this league and know how hard it is on players, and then go to (be) an owner and do the opposite. He has got a lot of common sense to him and I am just excited to be able to work for him, and be a Panther.’’