5 critical decisions that caused Matt Rhule’s demise with the Panthers
By Dean Jones
Matt Rhule chose Carolina Panthers QB roulette
When a new regime comes on board, the wise move is to draft a quarterback in the hope a competitive roster can be built around a rookie contract. Instead, Matt Rhule opted to go a different route with a constant stream of failed personnel moves at football’s most important position.
Teddy Bridgewater was brought in on a $33 million deal, but the veteran lasted one season before he was shipped to the Denver Broncos. Carolina sacrificed three draft selections – including a high-end second-rounder – to acquire Sam Darnold from the New York Jets, which was nothing short of disastrous and another sign that Rhule couldn’t properly evaluate at the pro level.
Rhule moved up to acquire Matt Corral in the 2022 NFL Draft. But a few short weeks later, the Panthers brought Baker Mayfield into the fold for one last roll of the dice in pursuit of progression.
While Mayfield left a good impression in training camp, this didn’t translate into production when it counts. Rhule’s insistence to put the Oklahoma product in a worthless competition with Darnold during their time in Spartanburg was a major error in judgment and the Panthers are suffering as a result.
Had the Panthers formulated a long-term plan under center, things might have been different. When one examines the wreckage of Rhule’s tenure, his constant quarterback roulette was the primary factor behind his eventual demise.