Losing veteran free-agent quarterback Derek Carr to another organization would be a blessing in disguise for the Carolina Panthers.
Despite having little in the way of financial flexibility and their recent personnel failings at the quarterback position, it hasn’t stopped the Carolina Panthers from examining the prospect of bringing Derek Carr into the fold. A move that’s been met with widespread disapproval from the fanbase, who are desperate for those in power to find a long-term solution under center.
The Panthers met Carr during the NFL Scouting Combine and plan to speak with the signal-caller next Monday for further discussions about a potential switch. But they are not alone in coveting the four-time Pro Bowler based on recent events.
Both the New York Jets and New Orleans Saints are also looking at the possibility of securing Carr’s services. They were highly complimentary of their first visit with the player and spoke with him in Indianapolis to get a better lay of the land.
Carolina Panthers could miss out on Derek Carr to an NFC South rival
Carr is taking his time before committing one way or another. His time with the Las Vegas Raiders ended on a sour note, so his next move must be correct in pursuit of a career renaissance.
When asked about Carr during his media availability at the NFL Combine, Frank Reich was gushing in his praise of the one-time Fresno State standout. Even if this does represent another gamble that could go either way.
"“Derek is an excellent leader. He’s an excellent passer. He’s very accomplished. You look at the fit, how does he fit with our team and our locker room? He checks a lot of boxes, no question. That’s why he is where he is at this point in his career and the opportunity, it’s a unique opportunity to talk to someone of that caliber as a player and a person. So we didn’t take that for granted.”"
This could be something and nothing where the Panthers are concerned. And in any case, a situation could emerge where another team jumps the gun and gets him before they have a chance to make a formal offer.
According to ESPN’s respected insider Jeremy Fowler via the Official Jets Podcast, the Saints are already sold on Carr and plan to do whatever it takes to seal the deal. This is despite Carolina’s fierce NFC South rivals sitting at $30.98 million over the cap currently.
Make no mistake, this would be a blessing in disguise for the Panthers. One that should turn their attention to what should be done – doing whatever it takes to secure their potential franchise quarterback prospect via the 2023 NFL Draft.
Matt Rhule’s failings stemmed from lackluster gambles on quarterback free agents and trades. There is real momentum building around Reich and the new regime, so if Carr fails, Carolina will be back to square one.
Besides, any money they can free up before free agency should be spent on surrounding their rookie quarterback or a veteran bridge with everything they need. Not going for broke with a player who was deemed surplus to requirements in Las Vegas.
Carolina will see a lot of Carr if does join New Orleans. But based on his overall body of work in 2022, that shouldn’t fear Ejiro Evero’s defense in the slightest.
In fact, it might be a good thing.