5 things we learned from the Carolina Panthers 2021 offseason

(Jim Dedmon-USA TODAY Sports) Robby Anderson, D.J. Moore and Dan Arnold
(Jim Dedmon-USA TODAY Sports) Robby Anderson, D.J. Moore and Dan Arnold /
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Carolina Panthers
(Jim Dedmon-USA TODAY Sports) Sam Darnold /

Carolina Panthers gambled big on their QB position

It didn’t take a genius to figure out that Teddy Bridgewater’s time on the Carolina Panthers was hanging by a thread this offseason. An aggressive search for a potential upgrade began almost as soon as the 2020 campaign came to a conclusion, with the team coming close to landing Matthew Stafford and constant speculation linking them with Houston Texans signal-caller Deshaun Watson.

In the end, the Panthers settled in landing Sam Darnold from the New York Jets. A significant gamble considering the former first-round pick’s form since entering the league.

That wasn’t all his fault by any stretch of the imagination. But time is not on Darnold’s side as he looks to reignite his career with far more in the way of talent around him.

This obviously left Bridgewater surplus to requirements and he was traded to the Denver Broncos for a sixth-round pick one day before the draft. That was expected, but there were still some who thought Carolina should select a signal-caller at No. 8 overall rather than put all their eggs in Darnold’s basket.

As it turned out, Ohio State quarterback Justin Fields was there for the taking. Instead, the Panthers opted to take cornerback Jaycee Horn out of South Carolina to state their confidence in Darnold heading into the 2021 season.

Must Read. 5 major observations from Carolina Panthers QB Sam Darnold's 2021 offseason. light

It remains to be seen whether this was the right call to make. Darnold’s adjusted well to new surroundings this offseason, but the jury is still out as to whether he can make a better go of things in Carolina.