Insider expects Jimmy Garoppolo to join Carolina Panthers before camp

(Chuck Cook-USA TODAY Sports) Jimmy Garoppolo
(Chuck Cook-USA TODAY Sports) Jimmy Garoppolo /

ESPN’s insider Jeremy Fowler still expects the Carolina Panthers to land quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo after some positive recent injury news. 

The long, drawn out saga about just who the Carolina Panthers are going to start at the quarterback position is becoming tiresome. It’s something fans have had to endure for three-straight offseasons and unless a long-term option is acquired, then the organization will only get so far under head coach Matt Rhule.

It’s been a cataclysmic series of decisions. From Cam Newton’s release to signing Teddy Bridgewater and trading for Sam Darnold, these grave errors of judgment have held the Panthers back and this simply cannot continue moving forward.

The Panthers currently have Matt Corral, Sam Darnold, and P.J. Walker as their options under center. Not exactly the greatest trio for immediate progression, although hopes are high that the third-round pick can become a better solution over time.

Considering the need for better results right now, it’s no wonder that Carolina is still being linked with a veteran move before the team’s training camp in Spartanburg. Those in power have left enough cap space to make this happen and some encouraging recent news about Jimmy Garoppolo‘s recovery from offseason shoulder surgery could result in the Panthers making their play.

Carolina Panthers remain a likely destination for Jimmy Garoppolo

According to ESPN’s insider Jeremy Fowler, Garoppolo is expected to be cleared to throw in around 1-2 weeks. This indicates he should be all systems go for camp and might be the deciding factor in the Panthers beginning negotiations with the San Francisco 49ers.

Fowler also added that he projects Carolina to be the most likely destination for the former second-round pick providing some mutual ground can be reached regarding compensation and Garoppolo’s $26.95 million owed on the final year of his deal.

There is also a belief that the Niners might end up relesing Garoppolo when it makes sense to do so from a salary-cap standpoint. But time is of the essence and if the Panthers identify the signal-caller as someone who could turnaround their short-term fortunes, then it would be wise to bring him on board at the earliest possible opportunity.

Garoppolo is a proven winner in the right system and with a strong running game behind him. Something the Panthers have if All-Pro Christian McCaffrey can remain healthy for a consistent period of time.

Much like the situation with Baker Mayfield, there is no doubt Garoppolo represents a significant upgrade on Darnold. Whether it’s anything more than a band-aid fix is another matter entirely.

However, if Corral develops encouragingly, it’s all the Panthers would need from Garoppolo or anyone else.

Thankfully, the latest instalment of quarterback roulette for the Panthers is almost over. But one thing’s for sure, this is a decision the organization must get right after so many failed gambles.

Garoppolo certainly looks like a solid fit within Ben McAdoo’s system. He gets the ball out fast, sees the field well, and puts his playmakers in the best possible position to succeed.

If this transitions to the Panthers in the not-too-distant future, then Garoppolo might end up being the missing piece to the puzzle regarding real improvements in 2022.

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