The Carolina Panthers are entering a new era with Matt Rhule as their head coach and Teddy Bridgewater as their quarterback. Despite signing Bridgewater, an NFL executive identified Carolina as a possible candidate to tank for Trevor Lawrence.
“Carolina would have been a great tank-for-Trevor (Lawrence) candidate, but then they got Teddy,” an evaluator said via The Athletic. “I get you want to set a winning culture right away, but if I’m an owner and we start off 0-4, I’m really tempted to tank for Trevor, just take your bullets for one year.”
From 2011-2019, Cam Newton was the quarterback and leader of the Panthers. But with Rhule being hired, he’s shaping the roster to how he sees fit. That began with the first-year head coach making a move to sign Bridgewater in free agency.
Then, after adding Bridgewater, the Panthers parted ways with Newton after nine seasons. Given that Bridgewater was given a three-year, $63 million contract, Carolina is confident he can be a long-term solution under center.
However, what if Bridgewater doesn’t live up to the expectations? Depending on how Bridgewater performs, the Panthers could begin to look forward to the 2021 NFL Draft.
In light of that, Lawrence has been remarkable at Clemson over the past two years. As he heads into his final collegiate season, Lawrence is regarded as the No. 1 quarterback in next year’s draft.
Without a doubt, Rhule would love to win as many games as possible in his first season with the Panthers. On the other hand, if Carolina has a dismal season, Lawrence could become a possibility in 2021.