It’s been quite the journey for Matt Rhule since taking over as head coach of the Carolina Panthers. The front office reeled in a ton of exciting talent to begin his tenure but since then, the team seems stuck with its current build. With stars on both sides of the ball, fans are becoming frustrated with the state the franchise is in. With that in mind, we go over three potential trade targets the Panthers must consider to round out the 2022 roster.
The franchise could use a little help on either side of the ball, however, the Panthers’ offense is much more dire. DJ Moore and Robby Anderson hold down the starting receiver spots, but outside of them, the rest of the positional group is lacking. The front office would be wise to bring in another receiver to help improve the passing attack in Carolina.
Then, there is the obvious issue. The quarterback situation has been lacking for several years now. It’s arguably the reason why the Panthers can’t get back into playoff contention. Although the front office selected Matt Corral in the NFL Draft, this roster still needs a starting-caliber quarterback. As the summer approaches, perhaps Carolina finally pulls the trigger to improve the quarterback position.
With that said, here are three trade targets the Panthers must consider to complete the 2022 roster.
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Panthers Trade Targets To Complete 2022 Roster
3. Brandin Cooks
This might be a far-fetched idea but it’s one the Panthers should explore. Brandin Cooks has consistently been one of the best receivers in the league throughout his career. Right now, he’s playing on a Houston Texans franchise that is at least a few years away from becoming competitive. Although Carolina’s quarterback situation isn’t great, they could build a “win-now” roster by trading for Cooks in the offseason.
He’d be the perfect pairing with DJ Moore. While Robby Anderson takes it over the top, Cooks and Moore can feast underneath. Furthermore, opposing defenses would have to respect the passing game, which opens up the run lanes for Christian McCaffrey. If the Panthers are unable to acquire a quarterback, they should highly consider making a deal with the Texans to improve the receiving room.
2. Gardner Minshew
If Carolina is unable to trade for Baker Mayfield, then the next best option is Gardner Minshew. Sure, he’s not anybody’s top choice, but Minshew would be a great addition for the Panthers. He’s thrown for 5,969 yards through the air and has a touchdown to interception ratio of 41/12. This kid deserves a chance to earn a starting role the Panthers would be a perfect landing spot for him.
Minshew would immediately compete for the starting job against Sam Darnold and there’s a real chance he’d win the job outright. We’ve seen what Darnold can do and it’s not enough for the Panthers to succeed. Gardner Minshew brings a ton of energy and would likely improve the passing attack in Carolina.
1. Baker Mayfield
Trading for Baker Mayfield is likely still on the table. Even though trade talks fell through during the draft, Carolina still has a quarterback problem. Mayfield has some issues of his own, but he would be the best quarterback on the Panthers by a mile. If this franchise wants to make a playoff run, the front office should highly consider calling up the Cleveland Browns again.
Right now it seems the Seattle Seahawks and Panthers are showing the most interest in trading for the struggling quarterback. Carolina must get a deal done though, as Mayfield can help them make an appearance in the postseason. Although he dealt with a plethora of injuries, there is reason to believe Mayfield can bounce back with a new team. Keep an eye on this franchise, as the front office might reach out to the Browns post-June 1.