Surprising trade destination touted for Carolina Panthers QB Matt Corral

Matt Corral
Matt Corral / Jim Dedmon-USA TODAY Sports

A surprising trade destination was touted for Carolina Panthers quarterback Matt Corral following Bryce Young's arrival this offseason.

While all the hype has been centered on Bryce Young as the No. 1 overall selection in the 2023 NFL Draft, the Carolina Panthers are also keen to see what they have in Matt Corral throughout the preparation period. The Ole Miss product has been something of a forgotten man in recent months, but he remains fiercely determined to carve out a successful career for himself.

After a long conversation with head coach Frank Reich about what's expected and playing the long game, Corral came out in front of the media and indicated he would like to remain part of the franchise. Even if it means being No. 3 on the depth chart behind Young and veteran Andy Dalton initially.

Reich is giving Corral an opportunity to impress. The signal-caller is also expected to generate plenty of reps in the preseason before a formal conclusion on his status arrives.

While the former third-round selection might be taken through onto the 53-man roster - especially considering the new NFL ruling about activating an emergency quarterback during games if injury strikes - there are other factors in play. Primarily, whether a team comes in with a realistic trade offer for a player that is perceived as surplus to requirements.

Trade scenario sees Carolina Panthers send Matt Corral to the LA Rams

Corral might not want to be traded, but the decision is out of his hands. It's whether general manager Scott Fitterer receives an offer he deems acceptable that's the biggest factor right now.

This was a topic discussed by Kristopher Knox of The Bleacher Report, who touted the Los Angeles Rams as a surprise trade partner for Corral. Whether it's something they'd consider given their current state is debatable, and a fifth-round selection in 2024 might not be enough for the Panthers to part ways.

"In Los Angeles, Corral could at least compete with rookie fourth-round pick Stetson Bennett to be that quarterback of the future. It's a chance he won't get in Carolina for as long as Young remains healthy. The Panthers couldn't expect a lot in return for Corral, as depth quarterbacks carry little value—the Cleveland Browns got a seventh-round pick for one of the league's best backups, Case Keenum, last offseason. A fifth-round pick should be considered great value for a player who probably isn't in Carolina's long-term plans."

Kristopher Knox, The Bleacher Report

This speculation is unlikely to end until the Panthers put something concrete in place surrounding Corral. The player has looked sharp throughout early offseason workouts and is showing no ill effects from the serious foot fracture that ended his rookie campaign before it began, so things couldn't be going much better right now.

Obviously, dethroning Young after what the Panthers invested in the former Alabama stud is unrealistic, to put it mildly. Dalton's leadership within the locker room could make it difficult for Corral to emerge as the No. 2 option - although this possibility couldn't be entirely dismissed.

Corral could do with a fresh start. That might sound strange just one season after he was drafted, but a lot has happened in the meantime and unless something drastic unfolds, competing with Stenson Bennett behind Matthew Stafford seems like a more realistic avenue to seeing the field.

Watch this space, I guess.