Carolina Panthers must not panic during quarterback search

(Photo by Grant Halverson/Getty Images) Teddy Bridgewater and Matt Rhule
(Photo by Grant Halverson/Getty Images) Teddy Bridgewater and Matt Rhule /

It is vital that the Carolina Panthers don’t panic as they go in search of a new quarterback this offseason.

The first official domino has fallen in what is expected to be an unprecedented offseason of quarterback movement. Matthew Stafford was traded to the Los Angeles Rams in exchange for Jared Goff and three draft picks, which was a lofty offer that the Carolina Panthers and others across the league simply couldn’t match.

This will no doubt set off a chain of events that will reshape the league. Plenty of established veterans will be changing teams in the coming months and there is also the small matter of Clemson phenom Trevor Lawrence’s long-awaited arrival to the next level.

Carolina hasn’t exactly made a secret of their desire to get an upgrade on Teddy Bridgewater either during free agency, the 2021 NFL Draft, or via the trade market. The top three figures within the organization have all been vocal about this in their own way since the season ended and although the signal-caller’s contract probably dictates he’ll be on the roster if they can’t find a suitor, the player faces a real fight to hold onto the No. 1 spot.

The carousel has now begun to move.

So the Panthers will need to keep a close eye on developments.

Carolina Panthers must show courage in their convictions.

A plan has probably been formed between head coach Matt Rhule and general manager Scott Fitterer. There is also the influence of owner David Tepper to consider as he looks to build a competitive team on the field to match his ambitious plans to build the Panthers’ brand away from the gridiron.

Plenty of teams across the league are going to panic when it comes to recruitment this offseason. It happens all the time when people get twitchy in pursuit of finding the right man.

That is why it’s essential for Carolina to remain level headed under pressure and have the courage of their convictions to strike when the time is right. After all, this is a decision that is going to shape the future of the franchise for years to come.

Deshaun Watson is obviously the big prize. But whether the Panthers have enough in the way of assets to convince the Houston Texans to make a trade is another matter entirely.

Besides, four high-end picks over the next two years and two talented young defenders might be a little too steep no matter how talented Watson is.

There are other options, which might evolve and grow depending on what certain teams do prior to and during the NFL Draft. Someone like Sam Darnold might be available and would be worth considering and there is also the prospect of moving up from No. 8 overall in pursuit of a potential franchise quarterback such as Justin Fields or Zach Wilson.

The stakes are high for the Panthers, who need to make some sacrifices to free up additional funds with the salary-cap coming down due to COVID-19 revenue losses.

How they do this is irrelevant when it comes to choosing their next signal-caller. And of all the decisions they make between now and when competitive action rolls around in 2021, this is undisputedly the biggest and most pivotal one.