BY TYLER BALL
After days of rumors swarming across social media about multiple NFL teams potentially trading for Houston Texans star QB Deshaun Watson, one surprising team atop of the prediction lists is the Carolina Panthers. The big questions at hand are does this trade make sense for a team one season after an almost complete rebuild, and at this point is another new QB the real answer to getting the Panthers back on top in the NFC South.
For this trade to be taken seriously the Panthers would need to basically demolish most of the strongest assets the team has at this time for one player. Some predictions are suggesting trading QB Teddy Bridgewater, DE Brian Burns, RB Christian McCaffrey , and LB Shaq Thompson in addition to 2021 8th 1st round draft pick, as well as up to two or three more picks in the 2022 draft.
Whenever a team is struggling or in the middle of a rebuilding season there are three people that get blamed: the head coach, WR, and the QB. But the real thing that needs to be analyzed is why are the pieces not working. Is it really the QB or is it another part of the process that isn’t meshing as well as it could?
At this time, I think Bridgewaters stats show he can make completions, he can work the field on his feet as well as his arm. He was able to make a viable offensive threat for WR duo Robby Anderson and D.J. Moore, both of which produced over 1,000 yards this season. However, I think he can be more accurate with strong additions to the RT and O-line. Bridgewater was rushed and sacked almost more than any other QB in the NFC South this season. I think it would be ideal to attempt getting a strong TE candidate in the draft or offseason to help get relief for both blocking and converting third downs. This would allow Moore and Samuel to become more viable targets down field, presuming Bridgewater has the time to make accurate throws. Another benefit to this strategy would provide better offensive blocking for RBs.
Honestly, I think this trade would be a mistake considering trading all aspects of leadership on offense and defense for one player. There is never any guarantee on their success with new teams and if the original problems are not addressed then can we really expect to improve with a new QB to start the season. Coach Rhule has already proved he knows how to draft strong talent, I think he deserves the chance to draft and recruit for the Offense before we throw in the towel.