4 most important Panthers players against the Raiders

(Photo by Grant Halverson/Getty Images) Christian McCaffrey
(Photo by Grant Halverson/Getty Images) Christian McCaffrey /
4 of 5
Carolina Panthers
(Photo by Grant Halverson/Getty Images) Teddy Bridgewater /

Teddy Bridgewater – QB

The time for talk and speculation regarding Teddy Bridgewater is almost at an end. A new era with the Carolina Panthers will begin for both the player and the organization when he takes his first snap following a three-year, $63 million move in free agency.

Bridgewater hasn’t started more than five games in a season since 2015. He did go 5-0 in the absence of Drew Brees with the New Orleans Saints in 2019 and there is plenty of intrigue surrounding the impact he can make in a different environment.

The former first-round pick will be under scrutiny more than any player on the Panthers roster. Carolina’s iconic signal-caller was moved on in messy circumstances this offseason and this has only heightened the pressure on Bridgewater to produce the goods right away.

There is every chance that Bridgewater can get off to a good start against a Raiders’ secondary that gave up 256.7 yards per game through the air last season. This ranked eighth-worst in the NFL. But the quarter of Damon Arnette, Johnathan Abram, Erik Harris, and Trayvon Mullen could make significant improvements next time around.

The Panthers placed a significant amount of faith in Bridgewater to lead them through this period of transition. He has made a big impression on his teammates throughout a disrupted offseason period and was named one of the team captains this week. However, getting it done on the field is another matter entirely.