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Bill Barnwell ranks the Panthers offseason as 7th worst

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Didn't see anyone post this article. But he's ranking teams based primarily on how well they did in free agency and the draft. For reference, his top 5 are Bucs, Patriots, Chargers, Ravens and WFT. Bottom 5: Raiders, Packers, Steelers, Texans and Falcons. The relevant Panthers section:

26. Carolina Panthers

What went right: The Panthers continued to build carefully under Matt Rhule and new general manager Scott Fitterer, with one significant swap that we'll get to in a minute. I like the deals they made Haason Reddick and A.J. Bouye on defense, and they added a valuable piece at cornerback in No. 8 overall pick Jaycee Horn. The decision to give up on Teddy Bridgewater and make a run at Sam Darnold might end up being the most notable and important choice the Panthers made this offseason, but I generally liked the supplemental decisions Rhule & Co. made around their roster this offseason.

What went wrong: I'm not thoroughly excited about the Darnold trade, which saw Carolina send three picks to the Jets for the former No. 3 overall pick, including a second-rounder in 2022. Perhaps more importantly, the Panthers also agreed to pick up Darnold's fifth-year option for 2023, which is now fully guaranteed at $18.6 million. Quarterbacks who start their career like Darnold rarely turn into effective passers in their second stops, and this franchise is making a significant bet that Darnold will be the exception. His lack of development and middling success even in clean pockets would worry me, and I think the most likely scenario is that Carolina is back in the quarterback market again in 2022.

What they could have done differently: The other big bet the Panthers made this offseason was staying put in Round 1 of the draft and drafting Horn. The Bears sent pick Nos. 20 and 164 in the draft and their first- and fourth-rounders next year to the Giants to move up from No. 20 to No. 11 and draft Justin Fields, and even if the Panthers didn't want the Ohio State product, they presumably could have accepted a similar offer from the Bears and picked up a tantalizing first-rounder in the 2022 draft.

Even if we value those future Bears picks as being the last picks in their respective rounds, the package on the whole was worth 33.5 points by the Chase Stuart value chart, which is right around the value of the No. 1 overall pick in a typical draft. More realistically, those picks will add up to being worth more than the top pick in a typical draft. Passing up that trade offer (or, at the very least, not successfully seeking out that sort of offer from a team like the Bears) implicitly values Horn as being worth something like the No. 1 overall pick, and cornerbacks taken in this range just do not have that sort of success rate or impact historically. You could make this same argument for the Lions at No. 7 or the Broncos at No. 9, but this was probably an opportunity the Panthers missed.

What's left to do: Extend Taylor Moton. The 2017 second-rounder has developed into one of the best right tackles in football, and with the left tackle spot looking like a big question mark, the Panthers would do well to solidify one tackle spot for Darnold's sake. The Panthers franchised Moton for 2021 at $13.8 million, and a new deal for the 27-year-old should come in around four years and $62 million.


My thoughts:

1. His only mention of the draft was us not trading down with the Bears as a mistake. That's fair but do we know for sure a similar offer was on the table? You'd think but it's also feasible Chicago saw the Patriots pick approaching and got desperate with their offer. And even if it was available to the Panthers, dropping from 8 to 20 is a move you make when you don't mind not being competitive this year. With our 2022 2nd rounder going to NYJ, we need to win some games now. And why no mention of all the times we did trade down?

2. He has Moton taking 4 years, $62 million. If so, why isn't he signed already? I'd do that yesterday. 

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Posted (edited)

Hard to take this analysis seriously when it completely glosses over the fact that the team still doesn't have a clear answer at left tackle. That in itself is as big a question mark as Sam Darnold because our depth along the line isn't much to write home about either.

Edited by frankw
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46 minutes ago, Mr. Scot said:

I know some people like him, but I've never found Barnwell especially insightful.

That's why he is still on the ESPN payroll.  He was never a feature writer until they laid all the really insightful reporters/writers off.  He's cheap and fills the void.


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Yeah, I mean on paper I can definitely see why some pundits would be down on the offseason we had. 

We didn't really adequately address two massive needs(QB and OT). 

It is what it is. All we can do is hope the players prove them wrong by the end of the season.

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5 minutes ago, pantherclaw said:

At this point, still in the off season, I'm not going to take any writers criticism.   They're just spewing poo at this point. 

Anything is fair game in the offseason. None of it means he until the real games start. Just a bunch of educated and uneducated guessing. 

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