4 burning questions Carolina Panthers fans are asking ahead of Week 4 vs. Vikings

The stakes couldn't be higher heading into Week 4.

Ikem Ekwonu
Ikem Ekwonu / Jim Dedmon-USA TODAY Sports
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Are the Carolina Panthers in a rebuild?

Is this a rebuild or a deconstruction? - Joel F.

Joel, I have gone back and forth with this topic in my head and where I place myself in this discussion. Well, here is my official take on this matter…

The Carolina Panthers are a "soft" rebuilding team. But they were promoted by general manager Scott Fitterer earlier in the offseason as a team that seemed to be ready to compete from the jump, which was never the case.

I still believe that in hindsight, the signings Carolina made this offseason were for the benefit of this team. In some cases, I still think they are. Adam Thielen looks to be a reliable third-down converter and D.J. Chark is flashing his ability as the deep threat specialist of sorts at the wide receiver position.

Defensively, Vonn Bell was a quality signing at safety. DeShawn Williams is a nice veteran presence. Cornerback Troy Hill and edge rusher Justin Houston are in that same boat, and linebacker Kamu Grugier-Hill is a terrific depth addition to his respective position.

Yet, are these pieces enough for a playoff run? Absolutely not and they never were.

Carolina will not have to worry about salary cap issues next offseason. This means they will have plenty to spend at positions of need and to surround rookie quarterback Bryce Young with more formidable talent.

This year was always going to be a transition type of season. There are too many new pieces in terms of roster personnel on both sides of the ball, including on offense, along with a new coaching staff and quarterback. It's not pretty by any means right now and the injuries to this Panthers roster haven't helped whatsoever.

Next year seems like the season circled as the one to begin constructing a team that is looking to win the NFC South division crown.