4 painful realities for the Carolina Panthers so far this season

(Photo by Grant Halverson/Getty Images) Teddy Bridgewater
(Photo by Grant Halverson/Getty Images) Teddy Bridgewater /
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Carolina Panthers
(Denny Medley-USA TODAY Sports) Curtis Samuel /

Curtis Samuel could leave in free agency

Curtis Samuel seems to be coming of age this season. It took him a while to find his place in a new-look offense. But the performances he’s put in over the last few weeks have been nothing short of outstanding.

Samuel has become a dual-threat asset who is now a trusted target of quarterback Teddy Bridgewater. He recorded his first 100-yard game of the season at the Chiefs that only heightened his importance to the franchise.

The Carolina Panthers now have a potential problem on their hands with Samuel, who is playing on the final year of his rookie deal. They decided not to extend or trade him in the offseason and given the way that the former Ohio State star has performed of late, it is only going to drive the asking price up when the player heads to the negotiating table next spring.

There is a real possibility of Samuel leaving in free agency. If another team offers him a lucrative deal with the promise of a more prominent role then it would be hard for the player to turn down.

Samuel is the No. 3 wideout – for now – behind Robby Anderson and D.J. Moore. Christian McCaffrey also commands his fair share of targets and if the do-it-all offensive weapon wants the lion’s share of the touches, he might decide to seek pastures new.

Carolina would be foolish to not at least try and extend Samuel. But he will attract plenty of suitors if his exceptional recent displays continue for the remainder of the campaign.