4 questions the Panthers must answer before 2021 NFL Draft

(Photo by Jared C. Tilton/Getty Images) Teddy Bridgewater and Curtis Samuel
(Photo by Jared C. Tilton/Getty Images) Teddy Bridgewater and Curtis Samuel /
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Carolina Panthers
(Denny Medley-USA TODAY Sports) Curtis Samuel /

What are the Carolina Panthers going to do for WR depth?

Another area where one might not think comes with complications this offseason is wide receiver. The Carolina Panthers got some supreme production from their weapons in the passing game this season and there promises to be even more to come from the group providing they stay together.

That will be easier said than done with money the way it is.

Curtis Samuel‘s outstanding 2020 campaign enabled the player to go over 1,000 yards from scrimmage for the first time in his career. While this was welcome, it has added a substantial amount of dollars to the wideout’s asking price when he becomes a free-agent this spring.

Whether the Panthers can free up enough funds to keep Samuel around is anybody’s guess. There is also the prospect of the player opting for an increased role elsewhere that is more in keeping with his dynamic skill set.

Pharoh Cooper, Brandon Zylstra, and Keith Kirkwood will also become free agents and unlikely to be brought back. This leaves Carolina with D.J. Moore, Robby Anderson, and Omar Bayless as their options, with the top-two both out of contract in 2022.

This is a precarious situation and one that must be handled carefully. The Panthers have high hopes for Bayless once he returns from a serious knee injury, but putting too much on his shoulders early on wouldn’t be the wisest move in the world.

Extending Moore and Anderson ahead of time is also a possibility. But if they do lose Samuel as expected, it leaves a big hole to fill that might have to come from the 2021 NFL Draft.