5 trades the Carolina Panthers might consider before 2022 season opener

(Jim Dedmon-USA TODAY Sports) Sam Darnold
(Jim Dedmon-USA TODAY Sports) Sam Darnold /
3 of 6
Carolina Panthers
(Quinn Harris-USA TODAY Sports) Roquan Smith /

Carolina Panthers should trade for Roquan Smith

If you were able to draw up two moves to make the Carolina Panthers a wildcard contender overnight it would be moving on from Sam Darnold and finding a way to add Roquan Smith.

Smith’s trade request made headlines last week and has left fanbases across the league dreaming of adding the star linebacker. The former Georgia stud would be the perfect fit in Carolina and give the Panthers’ defense a chance to be a top-10 unit.

Baker Mayfield can put his team in the playoffs with a strong roster. He is the quarterback who broke the Cleveland Browns playoff curse, leading them to the postseason and a single win two years ago.

Mayfield needs plenty of help around him. A healthy Christian McCaffrey and a ferocious Carolina defense with Smith would certainly qualify.

Adding in the fact the Panthers will be playing a rebuilding Atlanta Falcons team twice as well as winnable games against the New Orleans Saints, New York Giants, Seattle Seahawks, Detriot Lions, and the Browns, and the addition of Smith is enough to make Carolina a surprise contender in a weak-looking NFC.

To be clear here this isn’t suggesting Smith alone would make Carolina a serious playoff team. Rather, the addition of the prolific linebacker to an already impressive defense would be the missing piece that gives the Panthers an opportunity.