4 biggest offseason questions the Panthers need to answer

(Photo by Stephen Maturen/Getty Images) Jeremy Chinn
(Photo by Stephen Maturen/Getty Images) Jeremy Chinn /
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Carolina Panthers
(Geoff Burke-USA TODAY Sports) Matt Rhule /

There are some big questions facing the Carolina Panthers this offseason as they look to make strides with new general manager Scott Fitterer.

As first years at the NFL level go, it was an eventful one for Matt Rhule. The Carolina Panthers head coach entered the organization amid a significant period of upheaval that was not aided by the COVID-19 health concerns that were and remain prevalent across the country.

Despite all this, Rhule conducted himself extremely well. He got the roster onside quickly and managed to keep the Carolina Panthers competitive against some of the best teams in the league, although they do appear to be a little way off being realistically considered as Super Bowl challengers at this juncture.

Another strong offseason period is going to do their chances in 2021 the world of good. There are sure to be some big changes across the board once again with Scott Fitterer coming in as their new general manager. But it’s vital that everyone is on the same page to get things going in the right direction after a significant period of stagnation.

There are plenty of hard choices to make in the coming months, but what are some of the bigger decisions awaiting the Panthers this offseason?

Question No. 1

Carolina Panthers
(Jim Dedmon-USA TODAY Sports) Russell Okung /

How can the Panthers fix their protection?

One of the main problems that the Panthers faced throughout the season was their lack of consistent protection. Outside of stud right tackle Taylor Moton, production was not in keeping with what’s required on a playoff contender and one could argue that four of the current starting unit might be moved on this offseason.

The first priority is to re-sign Moton in some capacity. He is one of the league’s best edge protectors and getting him tied down to a long-term deal is absolutely essential to Carolina’s chances moving forward.

Some significant reinforcements are needed at other positions, with veteran Pro Bowler Russell Okung also set to depart after one year with the organization that was littered with injury problems. Just how many changes the Panthers make in this area remains one of the big questions they need to answer in the coming weeks, but it would be a shock if the overhaul wasn’t substantial.