Panthers News: Frank Reich, David Tepper, Ben Johnson and Greg Olsen

Examining 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 interested in Ben Johnson?

One early frontrunner has emerged with sportsbooks to become the next Carolina Panthers head coach. Ben Johnson is gaining a strong reputation as a shrewd offensive mind, which has only flourished further after he opted to stay with the Detroit Lions when it seemed like a promotion could be in the offing.

The Panthers requested an interview with Johnson during the last cycle and was reported to be their top target. However, the offensive coordinator turned this down despite his strong connections to the area.

Johnson is the favorite to take the plunge among sportsbooks, with the likes of Jim Harbaugh and Eric Bieniemy also high on the list of potential possibilities. This was a sentiment echoed by Tom Pelissero of the NFL Network, who said there wouldn't be a great deal of shock around the league if David Tepper made another play for the Detroit play-caller.

"The Panthers targeted Lions OC Ben Johnson a year ago before he opted to stay in Detroit. It wouldn’t be a surprise if they made another run at him, among others."

Tom Pelissero via X/Twitter

Carolina is going to shoot their shot, one suspects. However, Johnson is going to be the hottest commodity on the head coaching trail early in 2024, so he might have the pick of destinations when it's all said and done.

Given the current state of affairs in Carolina and the jobs that could be available, Johnson would need to be absolutely convinced that Tepper's meddling isn't going to harm his career prospects moving forward. But money talks, too.