A Head Start
Before (foolishly) letting go of the thirty-year-young Cam Newton, the Panthers set themselves up for a competition of quarterbacks in their late twenties. When the Panthers draft their next franchise quarterback they’ll have a guy in his early twenties to learn the ropes and be set up for immediate success.
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Meanwhile, the Buccaneers and Saints both have quarterbacks in their early forties, Matt Ryan is in his mid-thirties and all three teams seem dead set on riding with each of their guys moving forward. If the Panthers find their franchise quarterback sometime in the immediate future they can avoid clashing with a division rival for a young gunslinger.
With Newton on the market and multiple potential starting quarterbacks in the draft this year the Panthers can further lower the probability of a draft clash by delaying their search for the next franchise quarterback until next year’s draft. Additionally, when they figure out who will be next season’s mentor/contingency quarterback they’ll have the option of trading a current quarterback for draft capital. They can comfortably execute the last phase of this plan and ultimately end up with more bargaining chips to draft ideal targets.
This year the Panthers should determine who can be a backup or starting quarterback next year and the coaches will have a year to find their groove for game management.
Next year they’ll be able to ease their next franchise quarterback into the system either as a savior – if the team does bad or a crown jewel if the team does well.