Carolina Panthers at Super Bowl 50: The impact five years on

(TIMOTHY A. CLARY/AFP via Getty Images) Cam Newton
(TIMOTHY A. CLARY/AFP via Getty Images) Cam Newton /
3 of 3
Carolina Panthers
(Bob Donnan-USA TODAY Sports) Christian McCaffrey /

When will the Carolina Panthers get back into contention?

The foundations are there.

But just how long it’s going to take for the Carolina Panthers to be called a legitimate Super Bowl contender again remains to be seen.

They were extremely competitive against high-class opposition in the first year of Matt Rhule’s reign, which might have even resulted in a young roster taking some notable scalps before faltering down the stretch. This is an important offseason period if the organization wants to make further strides next time around, which might include a new quarterback under center after an indifferent campaign from Teddy Bridgewater.

There isn’t a great deal of pressure on the Panthers regarding a Super Bowl appearance in the next couple of years. But that won’t be the case for much longer.

Owner David Tepper hasn’t parted ways with a substantial amount of wealth for Carolina to be perennial underachievers and by the time his project at Rock Hill is ready, he’ll expect a contending team out on the field.

This roster isn’t as talented as the one that took the NFL by storm on their way to an NFC Championship in 2015.

At least not yet.

If the next batch of hopefuls wants to emulate this phenomenal team, they need to find ways to come through in big moments and not be overawed by the occasion that proved to be their undoing in 2020.

The Super Bowl 50 team captured the imagination of fans across the country. Carolina has some way to go in pursuit of reaching the same heights, but everyone associated with the franchise is hoping it won’t take too much longer.