I’ve already posted once that many mock drafts have the Panthers taking a QB in the first round and that it didn’t make a lot of sense to me given the surprising play of rookie QB Matt Moore. Moore has the size, arm strength and accuracy to compete in the NFL. More importantly he has shown poise, leadership and good decision-making to warrant inclusion in the Panthers future QB plans. The
question is whether John Fox and GM Marty Hurney agree with that assessment.
It seems the rest of the NFL noticed since Moore was named offensive rookie of the month for December.
Moore, an undrafted free agent from Oregon State, went 2-1 during the final month of the season, completing 49-of-79 passes for 564 yards with three TDs and two interceptions.
He made his first career start against Seattle in Week 15, leading the Panthers to a 13-10 win by throwing for 208 yards. His 92.8 passer rating was the highest ever by a Carolina rookie in his first start. In the Panthers' season finale at Tampa, Moore passed for a pair of touchdowns to go with a 94.8 rating in a 31-23 win over the playoff-bound Buccaneers.
Fox and Hurney went after QB David Carr the last off-season to back up Jake Delhomme probably because they had a feeling Jake was showing signs of breaking down. They missed on evaluating Carr but you have to give them credit for getting somebody. I think they will look again for a veteran to back-up Jake if for whatever reason he can’t play a full season.
Consider the following stat:
Of the 12 teams that reached the playoffs, none received fewer than 12 starts from their starting quarterback. Of the four teams to earn first-round byes — New England, Indianapolis, Dallas and Green Bay — none were forced to start a backup quarterback.
If Fox & Hurney’s jobs are truly on the line next season will they put their jobs on the arm of Matt Moore if Jake cannot come back? They seem too conservative for that in spite of all the potential he shows. I don’t see a rookie filling the bill either. I expect them to cut David Carr prior to April’s draft and go after another free agent, maybe even Cleveland’ Derek Anderson. JP Losman is another option since he wants out of Buffalo but that will require some wheelin’ and dealin’ and Losman may not be ready to accept a back-up role.
You might think Donovan McNabb is an option but given the Panthers salary cap issues he is probably out of our price range. I imagine the Falcons will be big players in the free agent QB market this off-season. I would hope so anyway.
What free agent QB would you like to see the Panthers go after to back-up Jake next season?