4 painful realities the Carolina Panthers must face in 2022 and beyond

(Bob Donnan-USA TODAY Sports) Scott Fitterer and David Tepper
(Bob Donnan-USA TODAY Sports) Scott Fitterer and David Tepper /
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Carolina Panthers
(Joseph Maiorana-USA TODAY Sports) C.J. Stroud /

Carolina Panthers must draft their franchise QB

Enough is enough.

The Carolina Panthers must draft their franchise quarterback next spring.

A series of flawed trades and suspect free-agent signings held them back under Matt Rhule. Unless this complication is rectified at the earliest possible opportunity, nothing will change.

That is the harsh reality facing the Panthers. But fortunately, they could be in line for a high-end draft selection in 2023 unless this current roster goes on a memorable winning run down the stretch.

Perhaps someone like C.J. Stroud or Bryce Young can become the stable presence under center Carolina’s been craving. Others like Anthony Richardson, Hendon Hooker, or Will Levis might also be considered, even if these prospects aren’t projected to start right away.

Had the Panthers traded up for Justin Herbert or taken Justin Fields in 2021, things might have been different. But it’s a situation that Carolina must address to stand any chance of building a contender in the coming years.

Any more trades for players with indifferent production wouldn’t be well received by the fanbase. Although an ambitious move for Lamar Jackson is something the Panthers might explore if the signal-caller cannot work out a long-term extension with the Baltimore Ravens.

Either way, the Panthers need a long-term, stable plan at football’s most important position. Anything less this offseason would be a failure.

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