3 reasons the Panthers could not wait for Deshaun Watson

(Photo by Carmen Mandato/Getty Images) Deshaun Watson
(Photo by Carmen Mandato/Getty Images) Deshaun Watson /
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Carolina Panthers
(Jeff Hanisch-USA TODAY Sports) Teddy Bridgewater /

Carolina Panthers had no faith in Teddy Bridgewater

It didn’t take a genius to work out how little faith the Carolina Panthers had in Teddy Bridgewater taking them where they want to go moving forward. The quarterback struggled to produce the goods in crucial situations when it mattered most and a clear lack of confidence in the final few games of 2020 made the decision to bring him on board even more questionable.

Scott Fitterer wasn’t going to wait around on the off chance Bridgewater would turn it around with the return of Christian McCaffrey to full health and better protection around him. His decision to explore other alternatives was obviously co-signed by head coach Matt Rhule and perhaps even offensive coordinator Joe Brady despite a previous working relationship between the pair.

Having Bridgewater as the undisputed No. 1 heading into training camp would have made for an awkward situation, to put it mildly. The former Louisville star may have been gift-wrapped a three-year, $63 million deal with a $15 million signing bonus and $33 million last year after his outstanding displays for the New Orleans Saints in 2019, but Fitterer has already proven adept at working the salary-cap in a way that benefits the organization.

There is a chance that Sam Darnold won’t work out, but it’s not cost Carolina a first-round pick to see if they can turn things around. Waiting for Deshaun Watson was another option worth considering, although the pressure may have been on the coaching staff a little more by this point.