5 pros and cons of the Carolina Panthers trade for No.1 overall pick

(Photo by Justin Casterline/Getty Images) Frank Reich
(Photo by Justin Casterline/Getty Images) Frank Reich /
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Carolina Panthers
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Carolina Panthers can hone in on their new vision

When you’ve had this quarterback-sized hole in the heart of the team for years, it’s relatively easy to just tunnel vision and stare into that glaring weakness, minimizing other areas of need. A great example of that is the tight end position.

Since play-by-play superstar Greg Olsen left following the 2019 season, the spot has been under-utilized and under-prioritized. In a time where tight ends have seemingly become an instrumental position to offensive success in today’s NFL, the Carolina Panthers have not ambitiously explored upgrading the position.

Much of that may have been due to feeling it wasn’t necessary until the quarterback position was cemented. You may be able to make the same argument for positions like linebacker, edge rusher, safety, and wide receiver.

We’ve made some draft selections and uninspired free agent moves at the positions, but none with a clear vision. What I mean by clear vision is being able to look at a specific player as a missing piece of the puzzle because they actually fit into what you’re doing.

For as long as we’ve had the insurmountable question mark at quarterback, there’s been no way to know what the actual plan was. Sure, you want to win football games. But how? What additions can get you over the hump and into contention? It’s difficult to identify pieces to help when you can’t identify the correct quarterback?

I think this is how it all must begin. You have the rookie contract window of your quarterback to formulate these secondary questions and start answering them each year.

The Panthers are set to have a wagon full of cap space in 2024, estimated currently to be in the $140 million range. Having a year to identify the target areas for improvement while our rookie quarterback gets acclimated to the NFL, and then having the funds to make those improvements happen next year, that’s a welcomed clear path thanks to the trade for the No. 1 overall pick.