What is the ceiling for the Panthers in 2022?

Can the Panthers have a winning record in 2022?

By: Jake Rajala

The Carolina Panthers might have failed in the bachelor QB room this off-season, but they will still anticipate modest talent from Sam Darnold or their rookie QB Matt Corral. The 2022 QB1 will witness a resurrection from Christian McCaffrey, a superb WR (D.J. Moore, Robby Anderson) duo at his disposal, and an OL unit that should improve after the arrival of Austin Corbett and Bradley Bozeman.

I expect the Panthers young, hungry defense to continue to be another dangerous defense in the NFC South. The CAR defense lost Haason Reddick (11 sacks in 2021), but they will expect Yetur Gross-Matos to ascend opposite Brian Burns (Pro Bowler last season).

With that enunciated, the ultimate question is: what is the ceiling of the 2022 Panthers team? The Panthers won 5 games last season and it’s clear that it won’t be easy for the Panthers to be a playoff squad in a division with the loaded Tampa Bay Buccaneers and shiny New Orleans Saints.

Outside of the NFC South, the Panthers will face more brutal opponents. In fact, the Panthers will have the 12th most difficult schedule in 2022. The Panthers will face the following fierce opponents (excluding TB and NO): Los Angeles, Cincinnati, Cleveland, Arizona, Baltimore, and Denver. The Panthers will also face scrappy teams like Pittsburgh and San Francisco.

It will definitely be a challenge for the CMAC-featured Panthers to be a surprise NFC team with their upcoming schedule. I believe the Panthers will have a hard time going blow for blow with the Saints and Buccaneers in those four show-downs. With McCaffrey, the Panthers could hope to play spoilers against talented teams with less well-rounded defenses, such as Arizona, Baltimore, and even the Steelers. I feel that the Panthers ceiling is an 8-9 record, which is the same record as the 2021 Browns and 2021 Ravens. It won’t be easy for the Panthers to be a wild-card team next season, but they could be “competitive and see exciting growth from their rook QB or the highly motivated Darnold”.

What’s DJ Moore’s dynasty outlook?

Latest outlook of DJ Moore

By: Jake Rajala

There are many NFL fans that believe Carolina Panthers wide receiver D.J. Moore is stuck on Sam Alcatraz Darnold island at this point in time. Moore is a quality football player, but the ultimate question is: how potent will the WR coming off three 1,000+ yard seasons be in the future?

Moore had a career-high 163 targets and he ranked fifth in target share last season with a healthy Robby Anderson and a porous 2021 passing attack. Nonetheless, the Panthers didn’t have Christian McCaffrey for 10 games last season. McCaffrey’s presence (100+ receptions in 2018 and 2019) should have a negative impact on Moore’s receiving game.

I still fully expect the Panthers QB situation to improve from last season. The Panthers gave up the fifth-most sacks last season and they should really benefit from the arrival of RB Austin Corbett and likely LG Bradley Bozeman. These two OL will be sure-fire upgrades over the prior LG/RG that left Darnold out to dry in 2021.

I love the floor of Moore and feel like he’s strongly attached to the hot seat that Matt Rhule is sitting on. I expect the Panthers to lean on Moore and CMAC a lot in 2023. He may not receive 150+ targets, but I still expect the 25-year-old to garner around 130 targets in each of the next few seasons. He signed a 3-year contract extension worth $61 million dollars this offseason.

It’s easy to not be a fan of Darnold with a million other peeps on social media, but I believe it’s honestly unclear if Darnold will be the future QB beyond 2022. He may burn out for the second straight season, but if he can have a “2018 Mitchell Trubisky-like season” with a stout OL, healthy McCaffrey, and his fantastic WR duo, he could be the starter for 1-to 2 more seasons at least. With that enunciated, I still am not the biggest fan of his ceiling. Moore might be underrated and a quality WR, but he will likely remain underrated for a couple of more seasons. The Panthers haven’t had a solid QB since a healthy Cam Newton and I don’t believe they will have a Top 10 QB in the near future. Assuming the Panthers don’t find a QB like Derek Carr in the next couple of seasons, I believe Moore is near the peak of his hype right now.

Matt Corral or Sam Darnold: which QB has the edge?

Will Matt Corral or Sam Darnold start next season?

By: Jake Rajala

The Carolina Panthers drafted the former Ole Miss signal-caller Matt Corral in the third round of the 2022 NFL draft. The Panthers coach that is on the hot seat entering 2022 stated “We would have taken him high” in reference to Corral. It was clear that Matt Rhule and Ben McAdoo were big fans of Corral’s fit in Charlotte.

Corral doesn’t have a shortage of arm strength, but he did have off-field concerns in the draft process. According to AL.com, Corral slipped in the draft due to his issues with alcohol, depression, and unreliable behavior. Baker Mayfield had similar off-field concerns as Corral, but his overall persona and ability still convinced the Browns to select him first overall.

Rest assured, Corral will have a lot of motivation and confidence on Day 1 as a Panther. He will join a QB room that features a hungry, yet disappointing Sam Darnold. It doesn’t matter if “Sam Darnold is 24” because he has taken steps backward and not forward, to say the least. It’s really a “do or die” season for Darnold in a Panthers uniform.

The ultimate question revolving around the Panthers QB room is: which QB will be the Panthers starting QB in 2022? I honestly expect Corral to recognize the opportunity and seize the starting QB gig. Rhule has been *very* aggressive for a QB this off-season and I expect the Panthers to roll the dice with Corral.

I expect Corral to be effective with CMAC and the play-action opportunities in the McAdoo’s offense. I don’t expect Rhule to be thrilled about handing the keys to the offense to the unfortunate familiar Panthers QB in Darnold. With that said, I believe the outlook for the Panthers QB situation is still scary in the short term. The NFL world witnessed the 2022 rookie Ian Book throw a pick-six on his first series in the NFL and I believe the Panthers could witness growing pains with Corral in 2022. Hopefully, the third-round draft pick can take positive strides and help his team progress from 2021 in the Tom Brady-led NFC South.

What does Stephon Gilmore bring to the Colts?

What does Gilmore bring to the Colts?

By: Jake Rajala

The star cornerback Stephon Gilmore surprisingly signed with the Indianapolis Colts. The Gilmore signing with the Colts clearly means two things: The Colts are a serious dark horse Super Bowl contender and Sean McVay isn’t living in a Madden-like world. On the outlook, Gilmore is 31 years old and he’s looking to be a key factor in helping his new team win a Super Bowl before he’s washed up.

The 2022 Colts might not be better than the 2016 Atlanta Falcons squad, contrary to Pat McAfee’s recent take on the Gilmore featured Colts. Nonetheless, McAfee should be thrilled and the Colts are truly a popular AFC squad right now.

It’s clear that the Colts will have a positive addition in Gilmore. Well, what exactly is Jim Irsay’s team receiving in the former Patriot Super Bowl champion?

Well, Gilmore was a major factor in the Panthers exhibiting the fourth-ranked pass defense in 2021. Pro Football Focus graded Gilmore as the 14th best CB last season and he was supposed to be highly coveted by CAR. Yet, the “good” quarterback Sam Darnold and his squad couldn’t retain Gilmore or Haason Reddick.

I sincerely believe the late FA signee and introverted Gilmore can absolutely be a Top 10 CB with a Colts team that’s more talented than Matt Alcatraz Rhule island. The Colts don’t only have Deforest Buckner, but they also have Yannick Ngakouye (10 sacks in 2021) on their DL. Furthermore, they have Darius Leonard (PFF’s top-run defender in 2021) in their defense.

Gilmore was an absolute menace and the Defensive Player of the Year on a talented all-around Pats defense in 2019. The Colts CB certainly won’t be a DPOY candidate, but he will be uplifted into a quality contributor. The Colts should really get every penny out of the $23 million dollar man in the next two years.

Panthers QB options in 2022

Who will be the Panthers starting QB in 2022?

The Carolina Panthers have a big question mark at the quarterback position in 2022. The slightly more anxious Matt Rhule and the Panthers just re-signed XFL standout P.J. Walker on Monday. It’s also been reported by the New York Post that Sam Darnold will be in a Panthers uniform next season. 

It seems that the Panthers want to give Darnold a year of growth and allow him to compete with a likely newcomer at the QB position. The question unequivocally is: what will happen at the Panthers QB position? Well, here are a few potential names that would make sense to land in CAR. 

  1. Jameis Winston 

This number 1 option might be strange, but it would make a lot of sense. There’s so much buzz surrounding “Russell Wilson landing in NOLA”, but not enough traction revolving around Jameis Winston’s next landing spot. If Wilson takes his talents to the Big Easy, there is a 0% Winston remains in New Orleans. I’d love to see the Panthers sign Winston vs drafting a QB round one in the 2022 draft. The Panthers have a shorter window to pursue the Lombardi trophy off the legs of Christian McCaffrey. They also have the WRs to move the chains at ease. They can insert a mega arm, 27-year-old QB in Winston this offseason. 

It would be a poetic move for Winston to sign with his third NFC South team. At least Winston could grow with talent on offense and the talented, youthful defense (particularly on the front seven). 

  1. Sam Howell

Again … I wouldn’t want to see the Panthers notch a QB in round one. They can find a similar value QB with Sam Howell in round two, not to mention that they still carry a QB project in Darnold. Howell would be a beautiful pickup by the Panthers. Howell may have more gasoline on his arm than Darnold and he even he is a few years younger than Darnold. He could utilize deep threat, Robby Anderson, quite well for Rhule. 

Howell had 24 passing touchdowns, 9 interceptions, 3,056 passing yards, and a 76.1 passer rating in 2021. It was below his 2020 season performance truly. Howell recorded 30 touchdowns in 2020 and ousted a 179.1 passer rating. Howell even registered 38 passing touchdowns as a freshman.

Howell really has the arm talent to put up big numbers with Anderson and Moore if he can master the playbook. If he can’t, he could sit and let the Panthers build the roster for a year then he could potentially take the reigns in a soon-to-be Brady-less NFC South. QBs like Matt Ryan and Jameis Winston could also be out of the division in 2022 or 2023, as well.

  1. Cam Newton

This option might appear ludicrous for 75% of Panthers nation, but Cam does have a knack to come back from the dead. I also agree that there is less than 10% of Newton being prepped as the QB1 at the start of the training camp. Yet, Darnold routinely faces the injury bug. He’s missed four games in each of the past two seasons. If another injury occurs to Darnold in preseason action and they really need a veteran QB instead of a rookie, it would be ideal that Cam is inserted or gets a phone call. 

There isn’t a single soul that can clock the book on Newton’s work ethic. If he stays in shape and shows that he still has a grasp on the Panthers offense, he can really be a serviceable QB for the familiar offense.

Why Jim Harbaugh should go to the Carolina Panthers

Jim Harbaugh could find more success in Carolina

Jim Harbaugh has peaked in his time with the University of Michigan, as he exited a 2021 college football season with a record of 12-2 and an Orange Bowl appearance. It’s also worth mentioning that the Harbaugh-led Wolverines managed to edge out Ohio State University in a 42-27 thrashing of the rival, seventh-ranked squad.

We know Harbaugh has finally left his mark on the college football world. With that said, it appears that Harbaugh may take his talents elsewhere now that he’s on top of the rollercoaster in Michigan. Well, where could the former 49ers, Michigan, and Stanford coach take his talents? It appears that the Harbaugh twin could go back to his professional football coaching roots. 

According to The Athletic, there appears to be a real shot that the former NFL HC returns to the big league. Some have suggested that he could take over the reign in Las Vegas and NBC Chicago stated that Harbaugh “has really positive feelings” about the Bears.

It’s not clear if Chicago will realistically strike gold with the head coach, but it does seem like a logical fit. The Bears have a rookie quarterback with a lot of potential in Justin Fields. They also have significant talent on defense with All-Pro DE Khalil Mack and Pro Bowl snub Roquan Smith.

I can’t deny that the Bears fit well and seem to be a safe bet for landing the Big 10 coach. There are three reasons why they make sense. For 1. They will most likely have a head coaching opening. Second of all, they have the soon-to-be second-year QB Justin Fields. And the third reason would have to be there’s an emotional aspect for Harbaugh. Of course, the head coach played QB for the Bears in his NFL playing days.

Still, I believe there is a better fit talent-wise for Harbaugh and this said team could have a potential opening. This team is none other than the Carolina Panthers. I surely feel that Harbaugh would have more success and more robust, long-term potential with CAR.  

The future competitiveness of the NFC South should seem a lot more charming than that of the NFC North (even if it is dreadful now). In 2024, here is a realistic expectation of the NFC South QBs (excluding Carolina): 

Tampa Bay: Kyle Trask

New Orleans: Jameis Winston

Atlanta Falcons: a rookie or second-year QB

In the NFC North, the Packers could have their attractive ex in Aaron Rodgers for at least a few more seasons. Not to mention that he’s made it very clear that he owns the Bears. The Minnesota Vikings should be at least modest with a couple of holes filled plus the presence of two potential future Hall of Famers in Dalvin Cook and Justin Jefferson. The Lions have no light at the end of the tunnel, but they do fight hard. I will leave it there.

The South has firepower, but they have a few more wheelchairs via the age of the elite players. Let’s face it, Tom Brady and Gronk won’t be playing longer than a couple of seasons in the NFL. The Falcons will most likely have a new franchise QB in an offense missing Julio Jones and very likely Calvin Ridley. Then the Saints have Sean Payton, Alvin Kamara, but Cam Jordan, Demario Davis, and Malcolm Jenkins will all be 33+ years old next season. It’s not clear who the future QB will be and if Michael Thomas will be in the Big Easy with his rangy nature towards the team. Although, I do feel that the Saints have an optimistic long-term outlook if they properly address the QB situation this offseason.

The Panthers could dominate the South for years if they find a spark at QB around the talent they carry. They will honestly have a bit of a fixer-upper at their own QB situation. Although, it’s worth mentioning that Fields hasn’t been close to a proven first-round pick in Chi-town. But, the Panthers have a very impressive supporting cast around their QB situation. That’s why Harbaugh should also take his chances of finding the franchise QB in the Carolinas and not in the Windy City. 

Harbaugh could have one of the best all-purpose RBs in CMAC coming off of injury. He could rightfully help him return to being an OPOY type of back. He will at least have a season to experiment with him and see how explosive his ability post-injury is. The WR group is much more talented in CAR than Chicago, as well. Robby Anderson and D.J. Moore are arguably the most underrated WR duo in all of the league, while the two leading receivers for the Bears this season are RB David Montgomery and RB Khalil Herbert. Yes, you read that correctly. 

Harbaugh should ideally have his favorite landing spot in his head, but he could be surprised by another opening. If Rhule is really out (right after his OC), then Harbaugh could acknowledge the potential in CAR and be more intuitive by selecting the better strategic empty chair.

Fantasy: 3 sleeper QBs to trade for

Here are the top sleeper QBs to trade for

By Chris Moore (Twitter: @fantasy_moore)

We are now three weeks into the NFL season, and we are starting to see what players are performing and what players aren’t. In terms of fantasy, it is crucial to view and make adjustments to early-season success. It’s crucial to take in what we have seen over the first three weeks of the NFL season and make the proper adjustments to increase your chances of success in fantasy football. With that being said, I’m going to go over my favorite sleeper quarterbacks to trade for.

Kirk Cousins

I expect Kirk Cousins ownership percentage to shoot up after his performance this week, but if he’s still available in your league, get him. Cousins has been on fire to start the year, passing for 918 yards and eight touchdowns through three weeks. Cousins is currently the QB7 on the year, and with the Vikings’ defense struggling, I expect the Vikings to be in high-scoring games this year. We don’t know the status of Dalvin Cook’s ankle injury, but if he’s forced to miss even more time, I expect Cousins passing attempts to remain up. Cousins has a trio of great pass catchers, and this offense should remain competitive all season.

Derek Carr

Derek Carr is another quarterback on this list who is not owned enough in leagues. I expect Carr’s ownership percentage to increase after his performance this week, but if he is out on your waiver wire, get him. Carr has started the season out red hot. The Raiders are 3-0, and Derek Carr is playing some of the best football in his career. Carr has thrown for 1,203 yards and six touchdowns through his first three games. Like the others on this list, Carr has a great supporting cast around him. Henry Ruggs and Bryan Edwards have both taken strides this year. It also helps that Carr has one of the best tight ends in the NFL on his team. Carr currently ranks as the QB9 on the season, and if the Raiders continue playing like they are, Carr should easily outperform his pre-season draft ADP. 

Sam Darnold

Through the first three weeks of the NFL season, the Panthers look like the real deal. While they have had some easy matchups, this offense looks like the real deal. Darnold has established a great connection with D.J. Moore and is currently the QB6 on the season. I don’t think anyone expected Darnold to be this good, but he’s been great so far to start the year. While the Panthers may be without star running back Christian McCaffrey for a few weeks, the Panthers will have to lean on Darnold with CMC out. We saw the success Mike Davis had in this offense when CMC missed time last year. So I’m not overly concerned about Darnold’s fantasy outlook with CMC out. Darnold has thrown for 888 yards and three passing touchdowns through the first three weeks. I expect the Panthers to lean on Darnold even more during CMC’s absence.

Fantasy: 3 QBs to trade away

Trade away these QBs now

By: Jake Rajala

Week 3 in the National Football League is officially in the books. As a sixth of the season is finished, NFL teams and players are starting to show their true colors. It’s crucial that fantasy football addicts really digest the early season actions that have taken place and take the necessary steps to jolt their winning chances. With that being said, I’m going to assist your team’s fantasy roster by outlining analysis and feedback on the vital quarterback position upon the eclipse of Week 3. 

Let’s begin

  1. Joe Burrow

The connection between Joe Burrow and Ja’Marr Chase is truly poetry. Although, Chase can’t solely help Burrow “take care of the football” or prevent the fact that the Bengals have the seventh most challenging schedule this season. 

There is a lot of overhyping surrounding the Bengals 2-1 record and highlight reels of Burrow to Chase this early season. Burrow has thrown under 207 yards in each of the past two weeks and he’s thrown four interceptions in three games thus far. I believe the Bengals defense will force Burrow to play catch up in countless, challenging situations this season and more errors for Burrow will follow. 

The Bengals OL that wasn’t addressed this offseason that well is still a shaky unit and it’s more than believable that Burrow could miss game time at some point for the second season in a row.

  1. Matthew Stafford

I believe two things following the Los Angeles Rams demolishing victory over the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. For 1. I believe the Rams victory will unveil to be one of the peak moments for Matthew Stafford this year and 2. Matthew Stafford is NOT an MVP candidate and he won’t routinely blow defenses out of the building in Sean McVay’s offense. 

I believe it’s a positive sign that Stafford hooked up with speedy, often injured Desean Jackson and unleashed four passing touchdowns against the Buccaneers in the matchup of the week. However, the Buccaneers pass defense is clearly not the same unit that it was in the playoffs last season. Buccaneers got poured on by Dak Prescott in Week 1, then allowed 25 points to the awful Atlanta Falcons in Week 2, and continued to bleed against the Rams in Week 3. 

Stafford was the 13th best QB by Fantasy Pros going into Week 3. He now has seen a favorable boost in the rankings — sliding up to be the ninth-best QB. I believe he will be a QB out of the Top 12 throughout most of the season. I believe it’s best to take advantage of his monster performance against TB NOW. 

  1. Sam Darnold 

There’s a strong case to be made that Sam Darnold is the worst QB on the best team in the league. Unfortunately, things are about to be worse for Darnold. The Panthers notable RB and fantastic all-purpose weapon Christian McCaffrey is going to miss the next three games in the season. 

Sam Darnold has not only been below average this season, but Darnold has faced poor competition in all three matchups. The Panthers QB only tossed 279 passing yards and one touchdown against the Jets in Week 1. In his second regular-season performance, Darnold faced a Saints defense missing several starters and a team that missed several coaches. Yet, Darnold unveiled a modest 305 passing yards, 2 touchdowns, and one interception against a very depleted Saints team. In Darnold’s last showcase, he hardly mustered out 304 passing yards tally, 0 passing touchdowns, and 0 interceptions. 

It may seem like there is little to get from Darnold in return, but I don’t believe his ceiling will get noticeably higher, and his offense could seriously struggle in the next few weeks without CMAC. If you can get anything out of Darnold right now, pull the trigger. 

Dynasty: Two QBs to Buy

Buy Giants QB Daniel Jones

The NFL is advertised by young quarterbacks that dominate the league like Patrick Mahomes, Russell Wilson, and Lamar Jackson. Even though these QBs steal the spotlight, they will soon lose many reputable leading statlines, records, and Lombardi trophies to the next wave of “young up and coming QBs”. These first-year/second-year signal-callers are often discussed profoundly in the media, but not on a high enough scale from different angles. By saying that, I’m going to highlight two QBs age 24 and under that, you should consider buying in your beloved fantasy league.

Let’s get started

Sam Darnold

Sam Darnold won the lottery when he was given the Panthers starting QB reigns. Darnold will light up the scoreboard with the familiar Robby Anderson, DJ Moore, and top purpose back in the league, Christian McCaffrey. Teddy Bridgewater was soft when it came to pushing the ball downfield, yet DJ Moore and Robby Anderson were still a Top 5 WR combo. Now the Panthers explosive wideouts have the talent of the 23-year-old Sam Darnold, they will really become one of the league’s hottest offenses. 

I’m not the only one sold on the former USC QB. Todd McShay, Mel Kiper, and Louis Riddick all believe that Darnold is the guy Rhule has been looking for. A reason that stands out from the notable analysts is that the Panthers were more competitive than many realize — the Panthers lost eight games by eight or fewer pts in 2020. Darnold is worth significantly more points than the veteran Bridgewater that was sent out the door for a late-round draft pick.

Darnold has also been very productive and clean with his turnovers in pre-season as of late. Darnold went 19/25, 162 yards, 2 TDs, and a 119 passer rating against Pittsburgh’s brute defense. The strongest crowd telling you to sway away from Darnold are the NY Jet season ticket holders.

Daniel Jones 

The NFC East QB out of the Big Apple was impressive (Yes) in 2020. Despite not having Saquon Barkley, a quality WR in the building, Jones did a lot with the situation and was even named PFF’s most improved player in 2020. On top of that, Joe Judge revealed that Danny Dimes played through severe injuries in the season. Despite Jones playing with a depleted, porous, crew and being banged up himself, the Giants QB had stout performances and was “efficient”. His passer rating improved from 65.9 as a rookie to 78.4 in 2020. 

Jones will have Kenny Golladay, first-round pick Kadarius Toney, and Evan Engram has returned to the offense. It also helps that the third-year QB will get to utilize his toys in the disastrous NFC East. 

I don’t believe that Jones’s aggressive pre-season passing in a poor limited display against Belichick’s revamped defense is the death sentence for the Giants young QB. The turnover machine is playing a ball hawk defense in August, so don’t be starstruck from some moments of struggle – which will surely still occur in the season. In fact, I believe it would make more sense to push for a trade now.

The Giants QB should very well outperform his rookie year TD count of 24 in 14 games. Let’s not forget, he was 12th per points as a rookie in fantasy, too. I fully expect Jones to put it all together in terms of production, efficiency, and fewer turnovers in 2021. Marcus Spears of ESPN said it right when he said if Jones takes care of the football, Jones will be a star and the G Men could win the NFC East.

Why the Panthers need to sign Todd Gurley

Free Agent Todd Gurley should join Panthers RB group

By: Jake Rajala

The Carolina Panthers entered the 2021 offseason desperate for change. Matt Rhule and the Panthers knew that they were getting All-Pro Christian McCaffrey back and healthy. Still, the fourth-place NFC South team from a year ago was widely aware that they needed a boost in their arsenal if they wanted to head in a winning direction.

The Panthers made a smart move by acquiring the young, cheaper Sam Darnold at the QB position. On defense, the organization drafted Jaycee Horn with the eighth overall pick. Numerous other valuable moves were made like the signing of Dan Arnold at tight end, inking Haason Reddick at defensive end, and the addition of Denzel Perryman to the linebacker unit. The Panthers undoubtedly boast a new look, sharper squad as training camp approaches. 

Indeed, training camp approaches, but it’s still the offseason and there’s still time to focus on improving the roster before the pads come on for the Panthers and the 31 other ball clubs. When looking at the Panthers, they are a team that could use more talent at a few spots. In particular, CAR could use more firepower at the RB position. 

Free-agent RB Todd Gurley would be the perfect fit for coach Rhule’s offensive attack. The Panthers boast CMAC, but there’s hardly an ounce of proven ability behind McCaffrey. Behind the number one RB spot, lies fourth-round rookie Chubba Hubbard and second-year UDFA Rodney Smith. 

Gurley is a mere 26 years old, he’s an ironman RB (played 14+ games in each of the last six seasons), and he brings value in the rushing and passing game. He recorded roughly 5,000 combined yards and 54 total touchdowns across a three-season span (2017-2019). In his most previous season, he wasn’t an electric force behind the dreadful Falcons OL, but he had several long runs and bruising TD runs, which helped show that his knees still have juice and he can be relied on with even a heavy load.

Gurley may not be the same player that he was as an All-Pro in 2018, but he could be involved and provide noticeable production in various ways. In a division where the Panthers play the Saints elite run defense twice a year, the Bucs dominant front seven twice a season, a slight boost from Gurley’s all-around ability could go a long way. His presence could especially be valued in short-yardage situations, where his strength could be utilized and CMAC could sit out and stay fresher.

Gurley signed a one-year – 5.5 million dollar deal with the Atlanta Falcons last season. He will likely garner around four million per season on his next team. The Panthers sit 11th in the league in cap space, so they have the ammunition to ink the former stud RB. If Gurley and the Panthers have a mutual interest in the near future, or if the Panthers feel the need to get more stability at halfback during training camp, it would be wise to reel in Gurley’s services. If Gurley does come to Charlotte and proves to be a quality player, the Panthers could have a superb tandem for years to come.

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