Carolina Panthers Player No. 1: Curtis Samuel (WR)
There is a lot riding on the 2020 season for Curtis Samuel. The wide receiver is heading into the final year of his rookie deal. And he will need to continue his upward trend in order to receive a big financial commitment either form the Panthers or another interested party.
It’s hard not to like the sort of skills that Samuel brings to the table. He is extremely elusive with the ball in his hands. And the former Ohio State standout has the rare ability to make people miss in tight windows.
Samuel is coming off the best season of his career after struggling with injury during his first two years in the NFL. The addition of offensive coordinator Joe Brady is another plus for the wideout. But those looking for him to eclipse the 1,000-yard mark might be a bit of an overstretch.
Although Samuel definitely has this potential. Other more prominent offensive weapons will see far more of the ball. The likes of D.J. Moore, Robby Anderson, and All-Pro running back Christian McCaffrey will take the lion’s share of the carries and targets. So the 2018 second-round pick will need to make the most out of his opportunities.
There is every chance that Samuel can build off his recent success. But one suspects that all he would really need to show was a slight improvement to get a new deal. Time is still on the player’s side. And there is also the possibility he might not be willing to accept the No. 3 receiver role once again in 2021.
This would see his future with the Panthers placed into doubt. And the organization backed themselves into a corner regarding Samuel after deciding not to trade him during the NFL Draft.