May 6, 2021

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Panthers have an easy backup plan after missing on…

3 min read
Panthers have an easy backup plan after missing on...


The Carolina Panthers missed on Matthew Stafford, but still have a plan in line to land a contending quarterback. 

David Tepper all but told fans of the Carolina Panthers that the Teddy Bridgewater experiment was done. Much like his name, that’s what the 28-year-old quarterback is best used for at this point in his career.

A bridge option.

“Unless you have that guy for sure that gets you to playoffs and Super Bowls, you have to keep reevaluating that because that’s the only thing that matters is Super Bowls,” Tepper told reporters after the firing of Marty Hurney. “And until you have that guy, you’re evaluating, evaluating, evaluating every year.”

The Panthers were one of several teams involved in acquiring Matthew Stafford this offseason. Instead, the soon to be 33-year-old landed out west with the Los Angeles Rams for a hefty price.

The Detroit Lions will eat some of Jared Goff’s contract, but they’ll also receive two first-round picks and a third-round pick over the next two seasons.

This might play in Carolina’s favor since that’s a steep asking price for a veteran gunslinger. And sure, Tepper is reportedly going to be “aggressive” in trying to add Houston Texans star quarterback Deshaun Watson in the coming weeks.

He shouldn’t since the asking price is far too high. Instead, Carolina should turn their attention to the draft and prepare to move up for BYU’s Zach Wilson. That’s the aggressive move that makes the most sense.

A move up for Wilson is the smart ploy for Carolina

According to the Houston Chronicle’s John McClain, Houston would want two proven defenders in return for Watson’s talent, among multiple early selections. The Panthers’ best two defensive options would be edge rusher Brian Burns and hybrid defender Jeremy Chinn, both of who are vital to the rebuilding of one of the league’s worst units.

Trading say three-first round picks, two second-round picks, a third-round pick and two potential defensive studs doesn’t add up for Carolina. The offense would be a weapon with DJ Moore, Robby Anderson and Christian McCaffrey, but games would be ending in shootouts since the defense would be back at square one.

Wilson, who many consider to be the No. 2 quarterback in the class, is a nice blend of size, arm and mobility both inside the pocket and on the run. His numbers for the Cougars were bonkers in a breakout year at BYU while his mechanics have dubbed him “Mormon Mahomes” in some scouting circles.

New general manager Scott Fitterer would likely be sending a team at least a pair of first-round selections to move into the top three. That alone probably isn’t enough to move into the top-five. Yet, it still allows the Panthers to hold onto several early-round selections they’ll use to build the rest of their team, especially defensively.

Quarterback is the biggest need for any team, but adding Watson to a team that cannot contend at this point feels like a waste. Tepper should be in the market for a name, but Watson’s asking price will be far too high.

Building around Wilson and keeping top players on the defense is the smarter play. And if all else fails, Mac Jones will 100 percent be there for the taking at No. 8.

Panthers have an easy backup plan after missing on Matthew Stafford