Panthers news: Ben Johnson, Mike Vrabel, Blake Corum and the week ahead

Delving deeper into the latest Carolina Panthers news and rumors from around the media.

Blake Corum
Blake Corum / Junfu Han / USA TODAY NETWORK
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Ben Johnson's stock soars

After Bobby Slowik put together a play-calling masterclass with the Houston Texans on Saturday, it was time for Ben Johnson to showcase his credentials as the entire NFL world watched on. The Carolina Panthers are among those taking a keen interest in their quest to find the right head coach. They couldn't have been anything other than impressed with what transpired.

Johnson's play-calling was nothing short of sensational throughout. This enabled the Detroit Lions to win their first playoff contest in 31 years. After the Dallas Cowboys' shock loss to the Green Bay Packers, they'll get another home game next weekend in pursuit of securing a spot in the NFC Conference championship game.

The former North Carolina quarterback's stock was already through the roof after two seasons of outstanding growth from the Lions offense. After Johnson proved he could handle the glaring postseason spotlight, the five teams who've put in interview requests should be clamoring for his services.

Team owner David Tepper has been a long-term admirer of Johnson. He's going to make a bold bid to convince the progressive mind this is a project worth joining. Unfortunately for the erratic billionaire, there will be plenty of competition for his services.

The Washington Commanders - now an attractive destination once again - are believed to have Johnson high on their shortlist. He has close connections to Charlotte and Tepper's wealth can outbid anybody, but even that might not be enough unless he genuinely believes in what the Panthers are trying to build.