Carolina Panthers: Making the case against O.J. Howard

Carolina Panthers, O.J. Howard (Photo by Jonathan Bachman/Getty Images)
Carolina Panthers, O.J. Howard (Photo by Jonathan Bachman/Getty Images) /

The Carolina Panthers still need help at tight end as rumors indicated that O.J. Howard might be available via trade. They need to stay far away from even considering the thought.

At this point in time, the Carolina Panthers need help bad at tight end. It’s a positional group that will look completely different this upcoming season. Former star tight end Greg Olsen is no longer going to hold it down as the rest of the tight ends on the roster leave much to the imagination.

Considering that quarterback Teddy Bridgewater will be their new starting quarterback means it would be important to give him a quality supporting cast. General manager Marty Hurney has done a decent job so far in free agency by adding better talent at wide receiver in Robby Anderson and locking up star running back Christian McCaffrey for the future.

All Hurney did at tight end via free agency was take a flier on tight end Seth Devalve. He’s not known as a premier receiving threat as he was mostly brought in to help in pass protection. In four years so far in the NFL, he’s only totaled 736 receiving yards, 60 receptions, and just four touchdowns. Needless to say, he’s not going to be lighting up the stats sheet this upcoming season with the Panthers.

The Carolina Panthers should not trade for O.J. Howard

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In an article written by Justin Leger of NBC Sports, he confirmed through NFL executive Michael Lombardi that the Tampa Bay Buccaneers are looking to trade tight end O.J. Howard before or during the 2020 NFL Draft. Mostly known as a bust throughout his career, it’s best the Panthers star far, far away from giving away draft capital and/or players for Howard.

In the grand scheme of things, sometimes it might make sense to give a promising player a fresh restart on a new team. But after watching Howard over the last three years with the Buccaneers, he’s mediocre at best. As a first-round draft pick back in 2017, expectations were high considering how much of a great career he had with Alabama.

Unfortunately, sometimes the transition from the collegiate scene to the pros is a tough one as Howard never really stood out when it mattered most. The potential might be there but the Panthers are in no position to take a chance on an unproven commodity. The Panthers are simply better off drafting a new tight end in the later rounds of this year’s draft to develop for the future if they feel it’s necessary.

There isn’t anyone available right now anyway that will replace the production Olsen brought to the table. As a matter of fact, they might be better off using a rotational role at tight end and keep it at that. The Panthers need to spend the majority of their first few draft picks bolstering their defense and if need be, they can grab a tight end in Rounds 5-6 if a good one is still available.

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As per Leger’s article, it looks like the Buccaneers want a second-round draft pick in a trade for Howard and that’s just crazy talk. The Panthers would be better off staying away from any such trade involving Howard and focus on what awaits in this year’s draft. They need to either keep their draft picks or make moves to acquire more. Giving up a second-round pick for a bust like Howard is simply out of the question.