4 New Year’s resolutions for the Carolina Panthers in 2021

(Photo by Will Newton/Getty Images) Teddy Bridgewater
(Photo by Will Newton/Getty Images) Teddy Bridgewater /
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Carolina Panthers
(Geoff Burke-USA TODAY Sports) Teddy Bridgewater /

Find a long-term quarterback

There does appear to be growing uncertainty regarding Teddy Bridgewater‘s ability to lead the Carolina Panthers moving forward. The quarterback has been as advertised this season after signing a three-year, $63 million deal with a $15 million signing bonus and $33 million guaranteed during free agency, but this offense might need more from the signal-caller if they want to maximize their chances of making the playoffs in 2021.

Bridgewater hasn’t had things easy. A disrupted offseason period meant no preseason games to develop chemistry, his protection has been less than stellar, and the absence of All-Pro running back Christian McCaffrey for all but three games in 2020 is another significant factor that shouldn’t be overlooked.

However, it’s hard not to look at Bridgewater’s production and not be concerned.

He might be accurate with the football. But his lack of pocket awareness and lack of confidence taking risks down the field is something that’s really hampered the Panthers.

The decision-makers might decide to look for a better long-term solution either with a free-agent veteran or in the 2021 NFL Draft, which would pile even more pressure on Bridgewater during an offseason that is going to come with plenty of speculation regarding his future.

Bridgewater’s contract doesn’t have a realistic out until 2022. So he might get one more shot to prove himself during the early stages of next season. But there will be a contingency plan in place if he fails to meet expectations yet again.