Carolina Panthers meeting with Derek Carr has additional benefits

(Joe Nicholson-USA TODAY Sports) Derek Carr
(Joe Nicholson-USA TODAY Sports) Derek Carr /

Meeting with free-agent quarterback Derek Carr at the NFL Scouting Combine could have some additional benefits for the Carolina Panthers. 

The Carolina Panthers have their staff in place. Now, attention focuses firmly on their quest to finally find a franchise quarterback.

This is something that will generate significant intrigue in the coming weeks. The top-four prospects entering from the college level will be studied heavily by influential figures within the organization, with the potential of another veteran coming into the fold something else that cannot be dismissed at this juncture.

Carolina has been burned plenty by suspect additions in free agency and the trade market in recent years. Something that ended Matt Rhule’s time as head coach after his final big swing for Baker Mayfield went horribly wrong.

Even with so much mismanagement of football’s most important player, it hasn’t put the Panthers off from speaking to another veteran down on his luck according to Ian Rapoport of the NFL Network.

Carolina Panthers will speak with Derek Carr at the NFL Combine

The insider stated that the Panthers plan to meet with Derek Carr at the NFL Scouting Combine in Indianapolis on Tuesday. Something that’s caused division among a fanbase that’s become increasingly disenchanted by torrid quarterback production since Cam Newton left.

Carr is looking for a new home after his release by the Las Vegas Raiders. The New York Jets and New Orleans Saints will speak with the Pro Bowler again after hosting him recently, with the possibility of others being added before the signal-caller comes to a final decision.

Although this would fracture fans begging for a stable presence, there are some benefits to the Panthers sitting down with Carr. Even if nothing comes out of the discussion.

There’s no doubt Carr would be intrigued by the set-up in Carolina with Reich and other highly-regarded coaches leading the way. The Panthers have some productive skill position players, a quality offensive line, and a defense that looks set for substantial improvements under Ejiro Evero’s guidance.

Carolina is going to do their due diligence on every potential target. They’ll sit down with the top college recruits this week, one suspects, while also determining whether Carr is someone they should also pursue.

One possible stumbling block is the financial aspect of this equation. Carr is going to want north of $20 million per season looking at the current state of affairs around the league, which is something the Panthers simply cannot afford looking at their current cap predicament.

Still, it won’t hurt to speak with Carr. Especially considering a divisional rival is clearly interested in securing his services.

If all else fails, this could even drag the price up if he did choose New Orleans, who aren’t blessed with the greatest resources as they continue to kick the can down the road. Anything the Panthers can do to add further detriment, the better.

This is smoke and mirrors season around the NFL, so Carolina meeting with the former Fresno State star might be nothing. But it’s another sign that all options are currently on the table for a team in desperate need of an upgrade.

Only time will tell. But it would be an absolute bombshell if this is the direction the Panthers went all things considered.

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