Carolina Panthers: 4 questions facing the offense in 2020

(Photo by Sean Gardner/Getty Images) Teddy Bridgewater
(Photo by Sean Gardner/Getty Images) Teddy Bridgewater /
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Taylor Moton, Carolina Panthers
(Photo by Streeter Lecka/Getty Images) Taylor Moton /

Carolina Panthers question No. 2: Can the offensive line hold up?

Although the Carolina Panthers have plenty going got them on offense. Their fortunes will ultimately come down to just how well the likes of Teddy Bridgewater and Christian McCaffrey are protected at the line of scrimmage.

This was an area of real concern in 2019. And the Panthers didn’t exactly push the boat out to bring in considerable reinforcements. Couple this with the odd decision to trade perennial Pro Bowl guard Trai Turner in exchange for veteran left tackle Russell Okung. And it is not hard to see why there is so much trepidation surrounding this unit.

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Okung has had trouble staying healthy in recent seasons. So whether he can make any sort of lasting contribution remains to be seen. His $13 million base salary is also set to come off the books next spring. And there is doubt as to whether he will be brought back.

They do have a player of considerable promise at right tackle in Taylor Moton. The lineman is quickly emerging as one of the NFL’s brightest protectors. And another strong year in 2020 would come with a substantial pay increase ahead of his free agency in 2021.

Their interior protection is set to consist of center Matt Paradis, who is coming off a down year in no uncertain terms. Free-agent duo John Miller and Michael Schofield were brought in on short-term deals. And Carolina also has the option of moving second-year player Dennis Daley into the guard spot.

It is absolutely vital that this patchwork group comes together during what little time they have on the field during camp. If they fail to become a cohesive unit early on, things could turn ugly for the Panthers.