5 bold predictions for the Carolina Panthers 2023 offseason

(Bob Donnan-USA TODAY Sports) Shaq Thompson
(Bob Donnan-USA TODAY Sports) Shaq Thompson /
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Carolina Panthers
(John David Mercer-USA TODAY Sports) C.J. Stroud /

Carolina Panthers trade up for C.J. Stroud

Matt Corral is the only quarterback under contract next season. This makes forming a clear long-term plan for the position essential for in 2023.

Despite the career renaissance of Sam Darnold when reinstalled into the lineup, his performance at the New Orleans Saints in Week 18 was a glaring reminder of the signal-caller’s unreliability on a consistent basis. Something that could lead to the Carolina Panthers letting him test the free-agent market and going down the draft route for their prospect of choice.

Carolina’s resurgence under Steve Wilks leaves them with the No. 9 overall selection. But if they are convinced that a certain individual can become their franchise player, trading up to secure them is a very real possibility.

C.J. Stroud might be that guy. His performance in the college football playoffs against Georgia quashed most concerns about his credentials, so if the Ohio State product makes it past the Houston Texans at No. 2, this move becomes a reality.

Trading up with the Chicago Bears for the No. 1 overall pick is unlikely. But that’s not to say Ryan Poles won’t take calls from teams in the top 10 looking for a new signal-caller.

The Panthers cannot afford to sit on their hands. However, those in power also need to be 100 percent convinced based on their flawed quarterback moves when Matt Rhule called the shots.