Carolina Panthers didn’t panic at any stage
With 15 wins over the last three seasons and Matt Rhule on the hot seat, one could have forgiven the Carolina Panthers for panicking a little this offseason. This was evident in free agency last year with some strange signings, but composure was a key element to their approach this spring as general manager Scott Fitterer becomes more influential.
The Panthers kept Rhule out of the firing line early in the process. This allowed Fitterer to provide more confidence that the organization was finally making the moves needed to become competitive next time around.
This methodical approach was matched by a real conviction when opportunities presented themselves. Whether this was trading up during the draft for Matt Corral and Brandon Smith, securing Baker Mayfield, or snapping up Matt Ioannidis soon after his release, it was a welcome and surprise shift in ethos.
Fitterer has done his part, for now at least. The Panthers have enough money to make additional acquisitions should they wish, but it’s on the coaching staff to mold this unit into one that could surprise people in 2022.
This won’t matter much to fans if the product on the field remains poor. But they can relax safe in the knowledge Fitterer is swiftly stamping his mark across the franchise.