5 boldest moves during the Carolina Panthers 2021 offseason

(Geoff Burke-USA TODAY Sports) Teddy Bridgewater and Sam Darnold
(Geoff Burke-USA TODAY Sports) Teddy Bridgewater and Sam Darnold /
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Carolina Panthers
(Dale Zanine-USA TODAY Sports) Teddy Bridgewater /

Carolina Panthers cut ties with Teddy Bridgewater

It was always going to be difficult for Teddy Bridgewater to fill the shoes of Cam Newton. The Carolina Panthers released the 2015 NFL MVP in unceremonious circumstances in favor of giving their marquee free-agent signing every chance to be a success, something he simply failed to do in big moments.

Bridgewater was unspectacular, which is what many expected of the former first-round pick coming into the organization. His hesitancy in getting the football downfield was telling, especially when it came to the red zone or critical moments of close games.

An 0-8 record of game-winning or tying drives tells its own story. There was also the clear lack of confidence Bridgewater displayed down the stretch that arguably put the final nail in his coffin.

Deciding to remove Bridgewater from the equation after just one season was a big decision for the Panthers to make. Especially considering it eventually came with a whopping dead-cap figure of more than $17 million.

Bridgewater was shipped to the Denver Broncos one day before the draft for nothing more than a sixth-round pick. His comments about Carolina’s practice methods following the move were tinged with bitterness and the Louisville product now faces a real fight for his future in a training camp battle against Drew Lock for the No. 1 job.