4 positional priorities for Panthers after first wave of 2021 free agency

(Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports) Donte Jackson
(Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports) Donte Jackson /
4 of 4
Carolina Panthers
(Bob Donnan-USA TODAY Sports) Teddy Bridgewater /


For all the signings on the defensive side of the football, the Carolina Panthers still have a cloud surrounding the quarterback position. Teddy Bridgewater‘s failure to come through when it mattered most has seen the front office explore every possible avenue to get an upgrade and make sure the same complications don’t befall them in 2021.

This has seen a failed trade that almost got over the line for Matthew Stafford before the Los Angeles Rams came in with a better offer and constant rumors surrounding a bold bid to land Deshaun Watson from the Houston Texans.

Watson’s current plight regarding civil suits makes it extremely difficult for any willing suitor to get involved. So the Panthers might decide to walk away from this pursuit and focus their attention on the 2021 NFL Draft.

The problem is Carolina is almost certainly looking at a big move up the draft to land their player of interest. Had they lost at the Washington Football Team in Week 16, things might have been different. But the possibility is a realistic one once Trevor Lawrence goes No. 1 overall to the Jacksonville Jaguars as expected.

Considering there is no real out on Bridgewater’s deal until 2022 and his guaranteed money makes it difficult to move the player via trade, keeping him around while an incoming college recruit gets up to speed is probably the best possible solution for all parties.

Bridgewater will be on a short leash, of that there is little doubt. But the Panthers dug this hole for themselves when they gave the former Louisville standout a three-year deal when he hadn’t started a full NFL season since 2015.