Carolina Panthers: X-factor No. 4: Curtis Samuel (WR)
The 2020 season could be a big one in the overall career of Curtis Samuel. He is heading into a contract year and another strong showing would give the Carolina Panthers no alternative other than to offer him a long-term extension.
Samuel suffered his fair share of injury problems since arriving in the NFL as a second-round pick in 2017. These now appear behind him if his 2019 production is any indication.
The wideout secured career-highs on an offense that had less than stellar quarterback play. This bodes extremely well for his chances of making another step forward next time around with Teddy Bridgewater under center.
Carolina’s decision-makers opted not to trade Samuel despite numerous inquiries from teams across the league. This backed them into a corner somewhat regarding his contract. But it gives head coach Matt Rhule another prominent offensive weapon to call upon during the first year of his rebuild.
Samuel is going to see a lot of time in the slot with D.J. Moore and Robby Anderson on the outside. This is an area of the field he especially thrives given his ability to make people miss in tight windows.
The Panthers also have the option to utilize Samuel in running game more in 2020. This is something that came with superb production last season. And it only adds to his potential to be a real difference-maker on offense.