4 mistakes the Panthers must not make in 2021 free agency

(Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports) Teddy Bridgewater
(Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports) Teddy Bridgewater /
2 of 4
Carolina Panthers
(Jeff Hanisch-USA TODAY Sports) Mitchell Trubisky /

Overpaying for an average QB

The Carolina Panthers took a big swing when they signed Teddy Bridgewater to a three-year, $63 million deal that also included a $15 million signing bonus and $33 million guaranteed during 2020 free agency. This resulted in the organization parting ways with iconic quarterback Cam Newton in the process, which was a jaw-dropping move that has blown up in their face.

Bridgewater is now on the chopping block after just one season under center. The San Francisco 49ers were among the teams who recently inquired about the signal-caller without anything coming from discussions, which could be down to Carolina looking to include the former first-round pick in a potential bombshell trade for Deshaun Watson.

One thing is for sure, the Panthers cannot afford to make the same mistake again.

Overpaying for another average quarterback in free agency is not an option. If they cannot get their hands on Watson or another veteran via trade, then the only avenue up for discussion is bringing in a potential franchise prospect onto the roster during the 2021 NFL Draft.

If Matt Rhule thinks he can fix someone like Mitchell Trubisky, that’s fine. But one more false move at the most important position on the field has the potential to set Carolina back years.

Bridgewater was a massive error in judgment that obviously played a significant role in Marty Hurney’s firing. What comes next is unclear, but lessons need to be learned from last spring.