Carolina Panthers top free agent target might have emerged after Super Bowl 58

It's kind of a joke, but also kind of not.

Super Bowl LVIII - San Francisco 49ers v Kansas City Chiefs
Super Bowl LVIII - San Francisco 49ers v Kansas City Chiefs / Jamie Squire/GettyImages
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It's a tale as old as time: an under-the-radar player on a playoff team makes a few big plays in front on nationally-televised games in January, and throws the whole free agent market into a frenzy. Every year, one poor NFL team that's desperate to capitalize on "the moment" overpays for a player who's probably not as good as their playoff performance suggests, and suddenly finds themselves stuck with a contract they had no business giving out.

This year, as Twitter pointed out in its usual snarky fashion, that contract is obvious:

This year, while appearing in 12 regular season games, Jennings put up 235 receiving yardson 19 catches with one touchdown. On a team with Christian McCaffery, Deebo Samuel, George Kittle, and Brandon Aiyuk, it's easy to understand. Then, in three playoff games, Jennings had 10 catches, 110 yards, and a touchdown in the Super Bowl. There was even a decent argument for him winning Super Bowl MVP had the 49ers pulled off the OT win.

The move has David Tepper written all over it. Outside of Adam Theilen – who quietly had one of the best years of his career – the Panthers' receiving core was pretty quiet: DJ Chark had the second-most receiving yards (525) and Jonathan Mingo rounded out the top three (418). Rookie QB Bryce Young's struggles were well-documented, and Carolina will go into his second year with an entirely-new offensive staff trying to salvage his career. Bringing in a wide receiver that simply played for a Shanahan and scored a touchdown in front of the largest viewing audience in television history, despite, you know, not being all that good, is exactly the kind of decision that an owner who's quickly losing all of the goodwill he has left would make. The Tweet's kinda a joke, but in another way more depressing way, it's almost certainly not. Good luck, Panthers fans.

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