Carolina Panthers handed can't-miss opportunity after Stefon Diggs trade

Opportunity knocks if the price is right...

Stefon Diggs
Stefon Diggs / Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

Stefon Diggs' trade to the Houston Texans gives the Carolina Panthers a can't-miss opportunity to reunite Bryce Young with a former college teammate.

The NFL was once again shaken to its core following the Buffalo Bills' decision to make Stefon Diggs expendable. Those in power finally decided the petulant wide receiver wasn't worth the trouble, trading him to the Houston Texans. A move that also saw them eat more than $30 million in dead money to complete the transaction.

This might not go unnoticed by the Carolina Panthers, who are on the lookout for wide receiver help to ensure quarterback Bryce Young has everything needed to excel in the coming years. Acquiring their preferred draft target became more difficult with the Bills officially in the market for a talented college recruit, but this trade could provide Dan Morgan with a golden ticket worthy of further investigation.

Carolina Panthers could trade for John Metchie

Houston now has a surplus of wideout talent. It's an enviable position and a testament to the sterling work being done behind the scenes by general manager Nick Caseiro. However, something's gotta give, and the Panthers would be wise to place a call in pursuit of acquiring one of the pass-catching pieces that fell down the pecking order following Diggs' arrival.

In particular, a former teammate of Young.

John Metchie hasn't hit the heights expected of a second-round selection, but there are mitigating circumstances attached. The explosive wide receiver was diagnosed with Acute Promyelocytic Leukemia shortly after he was drafted. This forced him to miss the entire 2022 campaign, but he managed to beat the disease and resume his playing career last time around.

Metchie took time to find his football legs again and was used sparingly by the Texans during his reintroduction. Diggs coming into the fold means the Alabama college product might be set for a reduced role once again, so a move away could be the best possible solution for all parties.

If the Texans began taking calls for Metchie, the Panthers should be among the first to pick up the phone. The wideout and Young formed a prolific tandem for the Crimson Tide in 2021 as the signal-caller took home the Heisman Trophy. Much will depend on the compensation involved, but it's a gamble worth taking.

Metchie brought in 96 receptions for 1,142 receiving yards and eight touchdowns in 2021 with Young under center. The chemistry was glaring between the two. Something that would ensure a smooth transition if the Panthers went down this route.

There's no guarantee Metchie can return to the elite-level production he displayed in college. Much like the decision to acquire Diontae Johnson via trade from the Pittsburgh Steelers, this represents a low-risk, high-reward pickup for Carolina if the price is right.

Morgan seems reluctant to sacrifice draft capital - something the previous regimes did almost at will with very little substance attached. Metchie might not be in their train of thought, but this could also be a can't-miss opportunity to provide Young with another reliable weapon in the passing game he's already familiar with.

Going down the draft route remains the most likely scenario at either No. 33 or No. 39 overall. Even if Metchie did come on board, this wouldn't prevent the Panthers from taking another pass-catcher.

After all, it's not like Young has an embarrassment of riches to call upon. What harm could it do?

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