4 franchise-altering questions facing the Carolina Panthers in 2023

(Photo by Jane Gershovich/Getty Images) David Tepper
(Photo by Jane Gershovich/Getty Images) David Tepper /
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Carolina Panthers
(Jim Dedmon-USA TODAY Sports) Sam Darnold /

Carolina Panthers must find a franchise QB

The foundations are there for the Carolina Panthers to be competitive, at the very least. However, there remains one dark cloud hanging over the organization that must be removed at the earliest possible opportunity.

It will surprise nobody that this centers on finding a franchise quarterback. Someone that can pick this team up and carry them to victory in times of struggle.

Sam Darnold is performing well behind a solid offensive line and a run-first mentality. But his limitations are glaring over a disappointing career so far and even if the Panthers do bring him back, it would likely be as a bridge option until someone else is ready to assume command.

Matt Corral has promise, but the Panthers don’t have a clear picture of whether he can start in 2023 after the Ole Miss product missed his entire rookie campaign with a serious foot injury.

As stated previously, money is tight no matter how much restructuring or releasing the Panthers manage. That means the most realistic avenue is acquiring one of the top signal-callers emerging from the college ranks next year.

There appears to be a consensus top four that warrant Carolina’s attention. Bryce Young and C.J. Stroud might be gone unless the Panthers trade up, with Will Levis and Anthony Ricardson also gaining real momentum ahead of the all-important evaluation process.

It would be a shock if the Panthers didn’t end up with one of these aforementioned prospects. Which one they choose will be dependent on where they are drafting and this could be a pendulum-swinging moment for the franchise one way or another.