4 ways Carolina Panthers can improve on offense in 2021

(Photo by Jacob Kupferman/Getty Images) Joe Brady
(Photo by Jacob Kupferman/Getty Images) Joe Brady /
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Carolina Panthers
(Brad Mills-USA TODAY Sports) Curtis Samuel /

Solve the Curtis Samuel riddle

The Carolina Panthers have a problem on their hands if they want to keep hold of Curtis Samuel this offseason. His level of production in 2020 won’t have gone unnoticed by other teams looking to strengthen their options in the passing game, which could see the player gain a significant financial sum that his current organization isn’t able to match.

Samuel became a massive part of the offense this season. He has a rare ability to make plays all over the field and his reliability on critical third-downs saw the Ohio State product become a favorite target of quarterback Teddy Bridgewater during these situations throughout the campaign.

Ideally, the Panthers would like to keep Samuel.

But considering the holes that need to be filled elsewhere, they shouldn’t be held to ransom.

Getting a replacement who can immediately contribute will be of paramount importance if Samuel does depart. But even if the Panthers can somehow convince the player to stay, it might have to come with a guarantee of even more involvement next season and beyond.

Considering Carolina also has D.J. Moore, Robby Anderson, and Christian McCaffrey, this will be difficult. Nobody will know that more than Samuel himself, so leaving for a more realistic opportunity at being a possible No. 1 option is an opportunity he might not be able to turn down.

With Pharoh Cooper and Brandon Zylstra also out of contract, the Panthers need some other options despite the exciting prospect of undrafted free-agent Omar Bayless returning from injury.