Panthers news: Ben Johnson, Ejiro Evero, Brian Callahan and Raheem Morris

Exploring the latest Carolina Panthers news and rumors from around the media.

Ben Johnson
Ben Johnson / Junfu Han / USA TODAY NETWORK
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Carolina Panthers' waiting game with Ben Johnson

The Carolina Panthers have reportedly made Ben Johnson their primary target for the second-straight head coaching cycle. They aren't alone in that regard considering how much the Detroit Lions' offensive coordinator has enhanced his blossoming reputation throughout a remarkable campaign from the organization.

Carolina virtually interviewed Johnson on Friday. If team owner David Tepper and others in positions of power want to bring in the exceptional play-caller for a face-to-face meeting, it won't be in the immediate future.

After the Lions dug deep to triumph over the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, they are now gearing up for their first NFC Conference championship game in decades. Per league rules, this also means any willing suitors wanting to speak with Johnson in person must wait until next week.

While this only adds to the drama, Johnson is worth the wait. His play-calling was nothing short of outstanding once again versus a stout Buccaneers defense. The Panthers will likely speak to other candidates throughout the week, but I would be gobsmacked if they announced a head coaching hire without having the chance to discuss things further with the former North Carolina college quarterback.

The Washington Commanders are thought to be a frontrunner to land Johnson under their new regime led by Josh Harris and new general manager Adam Peters. The Atlanta Falcons conducted a virtual interview after Detroit's triumph on Sunday. When it's all said and done, this could be a sweepstakes situation that gives the in-demand coordinator his pick of franchises.