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Free Agency Preview: Carolina Panthers

by Erik Livengood

“Whole New World”

The Panthers are coming off a changing of the guards to say the least. With the transition of an extreme style of coaching, the front office is left with complex questions. What pieces are we left with, what style would capitalize the personnel we have, and what are the pieces to the proverbial puzzle that would fit best? Carolina is not left without talent by any standards. The defense is primarily signed and with less needs than any other part of the team. The offense, however, is another story.

New Identity

The hiring of Frank Reich has morphed the culture in Carolina. Well…that and the fact they just made a massive trade with the Chicago Bears for the first pick in the NFL Draft. This exchanged said pick for two first-rounders (this year’s included), along with two other second round picks. This is not even considering that the best wide receiver on the team, DJ Moore was the glue that brought the deal to fruition. Though it may seem like this writer might have a judgmental tone, you would be mistaken. In fact, this was a crucial move for the Panthers moving forward. They have been lacking a solid starting Quarterback since the decline of Cam Newton. Ever since then, it has been looking for a band aid repeatedly.

What’s on the Horizon?

The needs are very clear from a bystander’s perspective such as my own. After the departure of Moore, the team is left with a hole in a primary receiver and leadership. Adam Thielen as a proven veteran would seem to be an obvious candidate. It is no coincidence that he visited Charlotte as recently as yesterday. However, their other viable options such as DeAndre Hopkins with a potential trade. The other is Odell Beckham. That would also be more than ideal. Only qualms with that are his asking price.

Gained So Far…

In the brief time of free agency there has been three significant signings. This includes Von Bell (S), Hayden Hurst (TE), and NFC Champion Miles Sanders (RB). These pieces are an interictal part of the plans moving forward. Losing CMC is something that nobody could replace talentwise. The position that remains in question is the Quarterback position. Only mystery now remains; Wil it be CJ Stroud or Bryce Young?

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