4 moves that caused the Carolina Panthers’ downfall in 2020

(Photo by Stephen Maturen/Getty Images) Tahir Whitehead
(Photo by Stephen Maturen/Getty Images) Tahir Whitehead /
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Carolina Panthers
(Denny Medley-USA TODAY Sports) Matt Rhule and Teddy Bridgewater /

Which moves have caused the Carolina Panthers’ downfall in 2020?

The Carolina Panthers went into the 2020 season with plenty of excitement and trepidation in equal measure. It was an offseason period of incredible change that brought in the start of a new era. But after a promising start over the first five weeks, things are now in danger of ending on a really sour note.

Nobody will know this more than Matt Rhule. The head coach has endured a baptism of fire to his time with the Carolina Panthers for various reasons and although there is little disputing the fact he is the right man for the job, the former Baylor man has been left in no doubt as to the size of this project.

If things don’t get better over their remaining there games, it could leave Carolina with a 4-12 record. While this would come with a high-end 2021 NFL Draft pick to further enhance their rebuild, it could hamper their plans to attract quality free agents to the organization next spring.

Here are four moves the Panthers made that have caused their downfall in 2020.

Move No. 1

Carolina Panthers
(Derick E. Hingle-USA TODAY Sports) Eli Apple /

Signing Eli Apple

When Eli Apple signed a one-year, $3 million deal to join the Panthers in free agency, it was seen as a low risk, high reward pickup for a player who was heading into the last chance saloon regarding his pursuit of becoming a prominent starter in the NFL.

The former Ohio State star was set to slot in as a starter opposite Donte Jackson. But it wasn’t long before things started to trend south and Apple eventually released in ruthless fashion after crying off practice when medically cleared to participate.

Rhule doesn’t suffer fools gladly.

This move was a disaster for the Panthers and one that not only cost them a good chunk of change that would probably have been better spent elsewhere, it also forced young players to step into the breach when they weren’t quite ready.