4 evolving storylines to expect at Panthers training camp in 2021

(Jim Dedmon-USA TODAY Sports) Sam Darnold
(Jim Dedmon-USA TODAY Sports) Sam Darnold /
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Carolina Panthers
(Brad Rempel-USA TODAY Sports) David Moore /

Who will benefit from Curtis Samuel’s departure?

With Curtis Samuel no longer with the Carolina Panthers after signing with the Washington Football Team in free agency, Joe Brady needs someone else to step up and fill the production lost regarding a player that gained more than 1,000 all-purpose yards in 2020.

Fortunately for the Panthers, they were probably well-aware Samuel was going to get a big-money deal from somebody – something they couldn’t afford. So making plans for his eventual departure were made ahead of time.

In truth, it might be a collective effort with the options available. There is also the return of Christian McCaffrey from injury to consider in the passing game that is another obvious benefit.

David Moore’s arrival from the Seattle Seahawks in free agency comes with some upside. He has the potential to impact proceedings all over the field and should see his fair share of targets in 2021 and possibly beyond.

There is also a significant amount of intrigue surrounding Terrace Marshall Jr. The LSU product fell into Carolina’s laps at No. 59 overall and if he can remain fit, then he looks like a superstar with a smooth transition.

It’s also worth keeping a close eye on Shi Smith at camp. The former South Carolina stud can get open quickly from the slot, so he could be one of the surprising contributors when it’s all said and done in pursuit of earning a spot on the rotation.

Omar Bayless, Keith Kirkwood, Brandon Zylstra, and Ishmael Hyman are others who harbor ambitions to make an impact. Players with Samuel’s ability are hard to find, but the Panthers have enough options to bring around more production from multiple sources.