Carolina Panthers: How long will it take to become a contender?

(Photo by Ronald Martinez/Getty Images) Matt Rhule
(Photo by Ronald Martinez/Getty Images) Matt Rhule /

What are the chances of head coach Matt Rhule winning a Super Bowl during his time with the Carolina Panthers?

It appears unlikely that new head coach Matt Rhule will win a Super Bowl during his first year with the Carolina Panthers. The franchise has a completely different look to it following a busy offseason and this will bring a period of transition in 2020.

While Rhule will be getting a pass in year one of his long-term deal. There is an expectation he can continue to build the Carolina Panthers into a possible contender in the not-too-distant future. The organization has some ambitious plans off the field in the coming years. And they will need a quality team on it to match.

Barry Werner of Touchdown Wire ranked the 23 NFL head coaches who have yet to win the Vince Lombardi Trophy in a recent feature. Rhule came in at No. 13 on the list, which was headed by Matt LaFleur of the Green Bay Packers.

Rhule did place one spot ahead of former Panthers’ head coach Ron Rivers, who was fired last season and is now with the Washington Redskins.

Speaking on Rhule’s appointment with the Panthers, Werner had this to say.

"“As long as we have a Carolina theme, Matt Rhule is going to find that turning the Panthers around is tougher than fixing Baylor.”"

Rhule has a sensational record of building up struggling college programs and turning around their fortunes. He did this at Temple and Baylor, but whether this is going to transition to the NFL remains to be seen.

Can Matt Rhule win a Super Bowl with the Carolina Panthers?

The recent appointment wasted no time in stamping his own mark on the Carolina Panthers. He has ridded the franchise of overpaid veterans and replaced them with younger options that fit in with his style of play.

This is obviously going to take time. And Rhule was working with one hand tied behind his back this offseason given the Panthers’ salary cap predicament. This is something that should bring around more freedom in 2021, which would allow the head coach to go after some more prominent names on the free-agent market.

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Rhule signed a seven-year deal with the organization, which indicates both he and the team are in things for the long haul. A solid foundation has been put in place during his first few months in the role. But it will be a crucial campaign in terms of finding out whether those currently on the roster can lead the team to their former glory.

If they fail to live up to relatively low expectations, then it might be a case of going back to square one. This might lengthen the rebuilding process even more and ensure a possible Super Bowl tilt remains a distant possibility.

There is also the added complication of a lack of real face-to-face time with his players to consider. This has been an unprecedented offseason for everyone across the NFL. And it will make whatever time the group gets together during training camp and preseason games even more significant given the current climate.

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Rhule deserves the benefit of the doubt whatever happens in 2020. How long a shot at an elusive Lombardi Trophy is from coming again will ultimately come down to his first two or three years at the helm.