Panthers offense: 4 players under pressure to perform in 2020

Dean Jones
(Photo by Jacob Kupferman/Getty Images) Ian Thomas
(Photo by Jacob Kupferman/Getty Images) Ian Thomas /
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Teddy Bridgewater, Panthers offense
(Photo by Julio Aguilar/Getty Images) Teddy Bridgewater /

Teddy Bridgewater – QB

The story surrounding new Carolina Panthers quarterback Teddy Bridgewater is an inspirational one. The former first-round pick almost lost his leg during a freak training camp injury with the Minnesota Vikings to earn the opportunity of another prolonged chance to start in the NFL.

The Panthers offense is going to go through running back Christian McCaffrey. But much is also expected of Bridgewater after he signed a three-year, $63 million deal to prize him away from the New Orleans Saints in free agency.

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This financial commitment represented a tremendous vote of confidence in his ability to lead the franchise through a period of significant change. The decision-makers have also surrounded Bridgewater with some quality weapons as they look to improve the Panthers’ offense in 2020.

There will always be lingering doubts about Bridgewater’s health. This is to be expected after such a devastating injury that altered the course of his career considerably. However, the player demonstrated superb composure in the pocket for the Saints last season and secured a 5-0 record in the absence of Drew Brees.

The Panthers offense will be counting on Bridgewater to continue this upward trend as he looks to get back to the level of old. It’s easy to forget that the former Louisville standout was one of the best up and coming quarterbacks in the NFL before his injury. So there is a real player in there if all his health concerns are behind him.

That being said, Bridgewater is under enormous pressure to produce the goods next season. A struggling campaign would ultimately lead to a high-end draft pick for the Panthers, which could put them in prime position to take either Trevor Lawrence or Justin Fields in the 2021 NFL Draft.