Carolina Panthers GM Marty Hurney has made it public that the Panthers top priority is at Quarterback, like we didn’t already know that. But what Carolina needs to do is think outside of the draft. With Andrew Luck already shattering the Panthers hopes of a future franchise quarterback, no one on the board looks like they can make an immediate impact for Carolina. Sure this is all speculation, but with Missouri QB Blaine Gabbert atop many big boards as the #1 rated QB in the draft he is not the answer. Watching him in their bowl game against Iowa I saw many times where his decision making was extremely questionable. To fill that immediate need to sure up their quarterback position there are a few options they can look at to make that position an actual bright spot for once.
Carson Palmer- Of course Cincinnati brass has told the media that Palmer will not be traded as he wished, but if he is serious about retiring if he doesn’t get his wish then they might be obligated to find some kind of suitor out there. Plus, we all know Palmer needs a change of scenery. Although it might take a few draft picks to possibly get a potential deal done, Palmer still has a lot of football left to play and could definitely get the Panthers back in the right direction. Remember Palmer is only a year removed from leading the Bengals to a division championship that showcases teams like the Pittsburgh Steelers and Baltimore Ravens in that division.
Kevin Kolb- This might be the best case scenario for the Panthers, but might cost even more draft picks then it would for Palmer and maybe a few picks Carolina doesn’t have (i.e. 2nd round). Kolb has said he doesn’t want to sit second fiddle to Michael Vickin Philadelphia and would like to start somehwere else if not there. There is no way in my opinion the Eagles let Vick walk and stick with Kolb after Vick’s coming out party this past year. If the Eagles decide to grant Kolb his wish I think it would be dumb for Carolina not to at least take a look at the asking price for him. When given the chance to start Kolb showed signs of being a solid QB in the NFL and maybe like Palmer just needs a change of scenery in another uniform to show off his talent.
Vince Young- This is a very intriguing option for the Panthers in the sense that they really have never had a quarterback that possessed the abilities VY has. Young is a scrambling type with the ability to throw the deep ball. For the Panthers having Young at the helm would be very beneficial. Many times when Clausen was being rushed he wasn’t able to make a play on his own with his feet like Young could do and avoid disaster. With Young’s deep ball threat that could also make a receiver by the name of Steve Smith, very happy. If defenses having to worry about the scrambling ability of Young that could make the secondary very vulnerable for guys like Smith, David Gettis, and Brandon LaFell to make plays downfield. As many people saw when Michael Vick would scramble away from pressure it would always leave the defenses having to shift and opening up better zones for his receivers. Also, VY is free to sign with any team he would like, so for the Panthers it wouldn’t take any picks or players to acquire him and with his athleticism and youth could put the Panthers in the right direction.
Sure there are more options out there that Carolina can look to for help, but in my opinion if any of these three QB’s become available to acquire it would be dumb not to get them in a Panthers uniform. Hurney and Co. will for sure bring in someone new to at least compete for the starting spot, so I will be curious to see which direction they decide to go.