4 recent Panthers departures who could make a playoff run in 2021

Dean Jones
(Jim Dedmon-USA TODAY Sports) Curtis Samuel
(Jim Dedmon-USA TODAY Sports) Curtis Samuel /
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Carolina Panthers
(Photo by David Eulitt/Getty Images) Curtis Samuel /

Curtis Samuel – Former Carolina Panthers WR

  • 2021 team – Washington Football Team

No matter how disappointing Curtis Samuel leaving for the Washington Football Team was, keeping him on the roster was not financially viable in the current climate.

The wide receiver put some career numbers together at the worst possible time for the Carolina Panthers in one sense, which left them with a straight choice between the former second-round pick and stud right tackle Taylor Moton for the franchise tag.

In truth, it was a no-brainer.

Samuel now links up with his former head coach in Carolina, Ron Rivera, in addition to his old college teammate at Ohio State, Terry McLaurin. This familiarity should serve the player well as he looks to earn his bumper new three-year, $34.5 million deal that included a $12 million signing bonus and $23 million guaranteed.

The Panthers couldn’t keep Samuel at that price even if they wanted to, especially as D.J. Moore and potentially Robby Anderson also need paying in the not-too-distant future.

Washington made the playoffs in 2020 by winning a dismal NFC East division and made a big impression when knockout action got underway.

They have a formidable young defense and an abundance of offensive weapons to potentially go further in the postseason next time around, although much will depend on what sort of production the team will get from Ryan Fitzpatrick or Taylor Heinicke under center.