4 reasons increased expectations could help the Panthers in 2021

(Alex Hicks Jr./Spartanburg Herald-Journal via IMAGN Content Services) Robby Anderson
(Alex Hicks Jr./Spartanburg Herald-Journal via IMAGN Content Services) Robby Anderson /
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Carolina Panthers
(Jim Dedmon-USA TODAY Sports) Sam Darnold /

Carolina Panthers not-so-hidden storylines

There are some Carolina Panthers players under more pressure than others in 2021. It’s a precarious situation for many on the roster and with increased expectations thrown in for good measure, it’s going to be a real test of character and something that’s going to come with serious ramifications where the team is concerned.

The likes of Sam Darnold and Shaq Thompson are fighting for their long-term futures in Carolina. Others such as Donte Jackson and Robby Anderson are looking for a bumper payday next spring or sooner with another strong season of production.

These pivotal storylines are worth keeping a close eye on. If it brings around improved performance despite more being expected in Carolina, then it’s going to help an untold amount.

If things don’t end up panning out, then the pressure on Matt Rhule will increase. This was always going to be a long-term project – hence the seven-year, $60 million deal – but the Panthers need to prove they are heading in the right direction with steady growth year-on-year.

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Another not-so-subtle storyline in Carolina. But everything is in place outside of the offensive line and potentially Darnold’s production following his trade from the New York Jets.