Examining importance of Andy Dalton's role with the Carolina Panthers

Andy Dalton
Andy Dalton / Kyle Terada-USA TODAY Sports

How important will veteran quarterback Andy Dalton's role with the Carolina Panthers be during the 2023 campaign?

All eyes are on the Carolina Panthers from No. 1 overall in the 2023 NFL Draft. It was the boldest move imaginable from those in power, who'll have their choice of quarterback prospects after striking what could be a good deal with the Chicago Bears if everything goes according to plan.

No draft pick is a sure thing unless you're fortunate enough to get a generational talent such as Andrew Luck or Trevor Lawrence. However, the Panthers have given themselves every chance of finally solving their complete riddle under center after so much personnel mismanagement under Matt Rhule. 

There are now sound football minds making the decisions in Carolina. And if the team's newest franchise signal-caller from the college ranks needs a little extra time, the Panthers also have a contingency plan in place to help them along the way. 

Andy Dalton will play a vital role for the Carolina Panthers in 2023

Carolina secured the services of veteran Andy Dalton in free agency. Not the flashiest move by any stretch, but one that could be invaluable for someone like C.J. Stroud or Bryce Young during a pivotal transition from college to the pros.

Dalton knows the drill. His primary job will be to help the first-year pro get acclimatized, putting his experience to good use and becoming an extra coach of sorts while also getting to grips with Frank Reich's offense himself. 

Speaking to Darin Gantt from Panthers.com, Dalton highlighted how his knowledge from more than a decade as an NFL quarterback can assist. But the need for the former second-round selection to compete is also evident. 

" If I felt like there was something that needed to be talked about or a question that needed to be asked, I never hesitated to ask, even though I wasn't the starter because I knew it would help the whole room. So that's kind of where I'm at now. Obviously, I've played a ton of ball; there's a lot that can come from that. I started as a rookie; a lot will come from that. There's a lot I've done in my career, a ton of experience I can bring to help that room."

Andy Dalton

The Panthers couldn't have got many better options in this regard. Any rookie will now have three vastly qualified figures who've played the position to learn from on a daily basis, so there will be no excuses for the top pick in such an environment. 

Dalton played well enough for the New Orleans Saints in 2022 to provide confidence he could keep things ticking over in the event injury strikes or more development is needed. But at the same time, Carolina didn't surge into No. 1 overall for their prospect of choice to sit on the sidelines. 

This is a franchise-altering move awaiting the Panthers, for good or bad. That's why it was essential for someone with Dalton's credentials to join the ranks and even though he might not see the field if everything goes well, his role will be incredibly important. 

It's also worth remembering that Justin Fields had nothing but praise for the way Dalton helped him during his own NFL integration during their time together with the Bears. If the one-time TCU star has a similar impact in Carolina, his signing will be among the most important from what's been a fruitful free agency period to date. 

All that's left is picking the right guy to take this franchise forward.

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