5 major observations from Carolina Panthers 2022 rookie minicamp

(Brett Davis-USA TODAY Sports) Matt Corral
(Brett Davis-USA TODAY Sports) Matt Corral /
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Carolina Panthers
(Alex Hicks Jr./The Spartanburg Herald-Journal via IMAGN Content Services) Matt Rhule /

Matt Rhule already facing questions about his Carolina Panthers’ future

Although the focus was supposed to be on the rookies and their adjustment to the pro ranks, Matt Rhule was forced to take questions about his future beyond the 2022 campaign after a report from Front Office Sports indicated that the Carolina Panthers were planning a bold bid for Sean Payton this time next year.

This is far from ideal – especially in May – but Rhule is a man under fire thanks in no small part to the Panthers gaining just 10 wins in two seasons under his leadership.

In fairness to Rhule, he answered the questions well, outlining that team owner David Tepper called personally to tell him that the story was coming out and there was nothing to it.

However, the head coach was also quick to remind the billionaire and everyone else what he gave up to join Carolina and what Tepper envisaged being a “five-year plan” to get the team back to prominence.

"“I know Dave Tepper well enough to believe he wouldn’t be talking to another coach right now. He came to my house two-and-a-half years ago and told me this is a five-year rebuild. That’s what he said to me. He convinced me then to come be a part of it and build it with him. We’re not where we want to be. I don’t think it’s gonna take five years, I don’t want it to take five years, but those are the words he said to me.”"

There’s probably nothing to this report.

For now, anyway.

But it only highlights further just how much is on the line for Rhule next season – the magical third year where everything is supposed to come together.