4 major offseason gambles that could pay off for the Panthers in 2023

David Tepper and Scott Fitterer
David Tepper and Scott Fitterer / Bob Donnan-USA TODAY Sports
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Carolina Panthers
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Carolina Panthers traded for the No. 1 pick

General manager Scott Fitterer has been keen to leave his mark on the Carolina Panthers this offseason. The front office figure wants to prove Matt Rhule was the sole cause of some rash personnel moves since he joined the franchise, and he's off to a great start following an action-packed few weeks. 

For all the coaching additions and free-agent signings, one thing stands out above everything. That, of course, is the Panthers surging up to No. 1 overall in the 2023 NFL Draft

This was a feast or famine move. One that could make or break the organization and Fitterer's own future along the way. 

The cost was steep, there's no getting away from that. But if this is the move that finally fixes Carolina's problems at the quarterback position, nobody will care. 

In a weird way, trading up was the easy part. Picking the right signal-caller to lead the Panthers into potential postseason consideration represents a far trickier proposition. 

It looks like C.J. Stroud or Bryce Young. Nothing has been ruled out - including prospects like Will Levis or Anthony Ricardson - but it would be a big surprise if Carolina went down those routes given everything they sacrificed. 

If Carolina's pick disappoints and the other thrives, the consequences will be severe. But looking at Stroud and Young's upside, it's hard to envisage a scenario where either fluffs their lines considering how the Panthers have set things up throughout the offseason. 

With high risk comes high reward. Something that could be the tipping point to bigger and better things for this once-proud organization.

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