The Carolina Panthers finished 2020 with the same record they ended 2019 with, 5-11.
Seems the franchise needs to do something to shake things up.
The proposed solution for 2020 was to hire a new head coach in Matt Rhule and bring quarterback Teddy Bridgewater on board.
Bridgewater signed a 3 year $63 million dollar contract; the Panthers have a potential out after the 2021 season; however, the full contract term is until the end of the 2022 season.
This offseason is off to a blockbuster start and with even more of a quarterback carousel rumored to happen in the coming months, should the Panthers consider parting ways with Bridgewater?
The answer is yes.
Bridgewater’s 2020 Stats Aren’t Great.
To his credit, Bridgewater threw 15 touchdowns, but it’s the other stats that are more troubling.
He threw 11 interceptions and was sacked 31 times.
Bridgewater’s season can be summed up in this disastrous play against the Packers.
— Green Bay Packers (@packers) December 20, 2020
Coach Rhule’s reaction to this play speaks volumes about his confidence in Bridgewater.
Matt Rhule to Melissa Stark RE Bridgewater fumble: I told him from Day 1, we don't reach the ball across the goal line.
— Joe Person (@josephperson) December 20, 2020
His career best year was back in 2015 with the Minnesota Vikings; he led them to an 11-5 record and was named to the Pro Bowl.
For the money that Carolina is paying, they simply aren’t getting the results.
Should Carolina Go After Deshaun Watson?
Many speculate that Watson would be a good fit for Carolina.
He went to college in Clemson so he is no stranger to the Carolinas.
It’s unclear if the Panthers would be willing to go all-in to get Watson because it will certainly cost significant draft picks for years if the Stafford-Goff trade is any indication.
Could Carolina Draft A Quarterback?
The Panthers have the eighth overall pick in the 2021 NFL Draft.
That definitely takes them out of the Trevor Lawrence and Justin Fields discussions.
Depending on which mock draft you look at, opinions vary; some believe the Panthers will use that pick to get a TE to hopefully follow in Greg Olsen‘s footsteps (Kyle Pitts, maybe?)
There is another school of thought that the Panthers will see if they can snag BYU QB Zach Wilson in the draft.
Called the “Mormon Mahomes”, one NFL scout said this about Wilson:
“He’s got poise under pressure, accuracy and can throw from different platforms. He has no panic, some moxie and he’s tough. He can really do things with his feet, that’s the stuff you can’t teach. He can play himself higher than what I see him as.”
The Panthers may need to trade up to get Wilson who in some mock drafts is projected to go in the top seven.
How the Carolina Panthers find their next starting quarterback is unclear, but it does appear that Teddy Bridgewater cannot and will not be the starting quarterback in 2021.
His performance has fallen below expectations.
Carolina Coach Matt Rhule is entering his second season and needs to turn this team around sooner rather than later, or he could find himself out of a job also.