The Carolina Panthers made a major move on Monday afternoon in acquiring former third overall pick in the 2018 NFL Draft, Sam Darnold. The Panthers didn’t have to give up too much either to acquire Darnold having to only send a 2021 sixth rounder and a 2022 second and fourth rounders as well. A surprisingly low asking price for a guy who was taken third overall just three years ago and who will be just 24 at the start of the season.
This trade could end up being looked at as a total steal for the Panthers if this pans out and he finds the success many once projected for him and if it does not go well then you still have your 2022 first rounder to draft a quarterback.
With the acquisition of Sam Darnold, the Panthers have clearly decided that their future won’t be with Teddy Bridgewater. Shortly after the news broke about the trade, Panthers general manager Scott Fitterer made it clear that the team indeed will be looking for a new home for Teddy B saying “We’re going to find the right place for him, whether it’s here or someplace else,”. The Panthers likely won’t land a ton in return for Teddy Bridgewater on the trade market but there are a couple of teams that could use his services as their starter in the upcoming season.
Where do Panthers go now after adding Darnold?
This upcoming draft will be interesting to see if the Panthers can quickly build around Darnold to compete now. I have seen a few individuals ask if the Panthers still go quarterback at eighth overall and I think that just isn’t a possibility after this trade. While on NFL Network after the trade, Ian Rapoport mentioned the Panthers will exercise Darnold’s fifth-year option and that Head Coach Matt Rhule thought highly about Darnold after meeting him a few years prior when he interviewed for the New York Jets job.
Not only do I think the odds of them going quarterback are slim but most of the first round graded guys likely are all gone by then, maybe one falls but I think the Panthers look to address their needs at offensive tackle, tight end, cornerback, and or linebacker if they don’t trade down to acquire more assets in the 2021 NFL Draft.