Could the Carolina Panthers encounter more chaos in 2022?
By Dean Jones
The Carolina Panthers could be set for further chaos during the 2022 season according to Bucky Brooks from NFL.com.
Chaos and the Carolina Panthers have been closely linked since David Tepper bought the team and Matt Rhule became head coach. It certainly makes things interesting, but from a fan perspective, things need to start improving at the earliest possible opportunity where it counts most.
It’s been an encouraging offseason overall despite many reacting badly to Tepper’s faith in Rhule. The Panthers recruited well in problem positions and seemingly found themselves an upgrade at the quarterback position by trading for Baker Mayfield after months of negotiations with the Cleveland Browns.
Mayfield has the weight of the world on his shoulders and should be highly motivated to make this opportunity count. Carolina is planning on a true competition in training camp between the Oklahoma product and Sam Darnold, with rookie Matt Corral also in possible contention providing his development goes better than anticipated.
This is a time of year for hope. But based on what’s transpired where the Panthers are concerned in recent years, their fanbase is right to approach the upcoming campaign with a sense of trepidation.
Carolina Panthers named “chaos” team of NFC South in 2022
Former player and scout Bucky Brooks recently picked out one “chaos” team from each division ahead of the new season for an NFL.com feature. Unsurprisingly, Carolina found its way onto the list thanks to the upcoming quarterback decision and Rhule being on the hot seat.
"“The Panthers are a quarterback away from emerging as a playoff contender this season. Matt Rhule’s team has enough blue-chip players on each side of the ball to go toe-to-toe with the heavyweights in the league, but the embattled coach must pick the right quarterback at the end of training camp to give his team a chance to earn an elusive playoff berth.”"
As stated previously, Mayfield is the frontrunner and is an immediate upgrade on Darnold based on their previous production. However, the No. 1 overall selection in 2018 must pick things up extremely quickly and also get on the same page with his teammates to further bolster his chances of success.
Carolina didn’t give up all that much for Mayfield. But they didn’t covet him for so long to see him sitting on the sidelines.
Rhule has not been known for making the right decisions under center, so Brooks is right to bring up this predicament as one that could see further chaos follow. Any further errors in judgment will likely come with significant ramifications for the former Baylor man if Tepper decides to pull the plug following another season of abject failure.
There is a lot of football to be played between now and then. And the Panthers couldn’t have done much more to help Rhule finally start proving his doubters wrong in 2022.
Mayfield is a fiery individual that has a competitive edge that can sometimes boil over. This only adds to the intrigue surrounding Carolina in 2022 and if things don’t start well, it could be a powder keg waiting to go off.
After so much turmoil of late, fans just want stability and consistency.
Chaos is fun for a while. But it gets boring when the end product is nothing to write home about.