Here’s a list of the Carolina Panthers transactions since March 10. In my view the Panthers have made two splash moves by adding players to the roster. First the trade for left tackle Russell Okung. We did give up a good player in guard Trai Turner but I can’t argue with the price to finally protect our quarterback’s blind side. The Panthers have needed a left tackle for I can’t remember how many seasons so getting Okung is a relief. The second splash is the beneficiary of the first, the signing of Teddy Bridgewater. Like it or not he is our quarterback now. It would appear most people outside Carolina think it was a good signing.
Here’s what Sporting News had to say about the Panthers’ move to sign Bridgewater:
The Cam Newton era is officially over after the team invested a moderate amount to make Bridgewater the new starter. The good news it is a cost-effective situation for a rebuilding roster that still provides QB draft flexibility. The bad news, the high floor of the move comes with a low passing ceiling.
ESPN also gives the Panthers a B for the signing:
The deal: Three years, $63 million
It’s hard not to root for the much-loved Bridgewater, who has officially come all the way back from his career-threatening knee injury to earn a starting job with another team. The Panthers are giving him $40 million guaranteed over the next two seasons and shopping Cam Newton, who will either be cut or traded. There’s a chance that Carolina could draft a quarterback in 2021 if Bridgewater struggles, but for now, Teddy is the man in Carolina.
The move reunites Bridgewater with new Panthers offensive coordinator Joe Brady, who served as an offensive assistant with the Saints in 2018 before taking over as LSU’s offensive coordinator last season. Brady was able to unlock something special in Joe Burrow, who turned into the presumptive first overall pick in his final season with the Tigers. Asking Bridgewater to produce one of the best seasons we’ve ever seen is a little much, but he could be a good fit with the offensive concepts Burrow ran in 2019.
If signing a new starting quarterback is a B grade then it is hard to give the free agent class much of a lower grade given the importance of the position. Unless you prefer Kyle Allen to start maybe? Don’t say Cam, that ship has sailed. I wanted to see him make a comeback in Carolina blue but it will have to
The rest if the signings outside of safety Juston Burris are just role players. Still the Panthers have addressed some glaring needs but some still remain. Cornerback comes to mind but I’m not going to derail the intent of this post.
On the positive side safety is shored up with the signing of Tre Boston. Okung fills a huge hole at left tackle. We’ve replaced lost depth at wide receiver and we have a new kick returner. I think in many cases we have upgraded the roster with lots of time to fill additional holes. The draft brings opportunity to fill more.
So how do you grade the Panthers in free agency so far?
What grade do you give the Panthers in free agency so far?
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