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
(Jim Dedmon-USA TODAY Sports) Sam Darnold /

Carolina Panthers traded for Sam Darnold

Of all the bold moves made by the Carolina Panthers this offseason, trading for Sam Darnold is the biggest gamble by a considerable margin.

The quarterback endured a torrid three years on the New York Jets – which was down in no small part to the environment within the organization. But if he cannot make the most out of this outstanding opportunity, his starting career in the NFL will come to an end.

Carolina gave up three draft picks to find out if Darnold can be a signal-caller that could lead the Panthers back into the postseason. Many believe his confidence is already past the point of no return, while others are holding out high hopes this is the break he’s been waiting for.

Looking at the talent around Darnold, it’s hard to envisage a situation where he falters. Providing the protection lives up to its end of the bargain, obviously.

The Panthers also believe in Darnold, something he never got to experience under Adam Gase.

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There are few players in the NFL that have more riding on the upcoming campaign than Darnold. If he cannot reach the levels expected, it might cause the Panthers to go searching once again for a long-term quarterback capable of holding down the position for the foreseeable future.