Path to oblivion: How did the Carolina Panthers get here, and what comes next?

The misery never ends...
David Tepper
David Tepper / David Jensen/GettyImages
4 of 5

Carolina Panthers cannot do irreparable damage to Bryce Young

Intentionally, I didn’t divulge much about the players on the roster in this column. There is much to discuss, but I think that’s a slightly different conversation.

Where I do think it’s important to bring the on-field personnel into this equation, is how this staff and front office publicly mentioned numerous times that they meticulously composed this roster to have immediate success, contend for the division, and fit their systems like a glove.

That’s been a failure thus far.

It’s only their first season on the job and this dialogue may be premature. But there’s one last element that is the most critical for this franchise of all.

The Carolina Panthers traded away a legitimate NFL commodity - wide receiver D.J. Moore - along with high-end draft capital extending into the 2025 season to move up to the No. 1 overall spot for Bryce Young.

Young is THE point of emphasis moving forward - whether you’re a supporter and focusing on his success, or a detractor who would prefer to feel vindicated while bickering about football with your sloshed uncle at the Thanksgiving table this year. He’s been invested in and will be the guy one way or another.

Rookie quarterback development can be wildly temperamental. I look at Trevor Lawrence as the most recent example of situational impact and how it can cause lingering effects.

The former No. 1 pick was saddled with Urban Meyer and the Jacksonville Jaguars as his destination after being drafted in 2021. He was deemed a ‘generational prospect’, by those who choose to use that vague, unrealistic term.

Lawrence and the Jaguars went 2-11 in the first 13 games of the season. Full disclosure: Meyer had his turmoil and demons rearing their head in Jacksonville - and bars in the surrounding area. But the on-field product was also simply pathetic and shocking.

Lawrence looked overwhelmed and overhyped. Sound familiar?

Jaguars ownership assessed the entire situation and fired Meyer after those 13 contests. In a report on the firing done by staff writer Michael DiRocco via ESPN, owner Shad Khan was quoted saying the following in his explanation of the timing and decision to cut ties:

""After deliberation over many weeks and a thorough analysis of the entirety of Urban's tenure with our team, I am bitterly disappointed to arrive at the conclusion that an immediate change is imperative for everyone.”"

Jacksonville Jaguars owner Shad Khan

It’s very important to me that I reiterate how different the personal aspects are between the Meyer fiasco and the current fire burning in Carolina with Frank Reich. The Panthers' head coach is highly respected, well regarded, and comes across as genuinely kind and caring towards his players and peers.

But I also believe that the sentiment Khan expressed about the imperativeness of everyone involved could potentially ring true for the Panthers and Young. The development cannot continue in the current trajectory, whoever is his coach, because it’s begun to take a downward route, from my view.