The Carolina Panthers have killed it this offseason and are doing excellent and deliberate work to prep for the arrival of a rookie quarterback. I’m not sure there has been a single team doing better work this offseason than the Carolina Panthers.
They have truly knocked it out of the park and also now hold the first overall pick in the 2023 NFL Draft. What I find interesting about this situation is some of the win-now moves they’ve made while also making it abundantly clear that they are going to draft QB.
They seem to think that they can compete and perhaps win a division title in 2023, and I don’t blame them. I think the Panthers are by far the early winners of the offseason. Let’s take a look at some of their prep work this offseason as they finalize who they are selecting first overall in 2023.
Carolina Panthers doing great prep work for rookie QB
The team has made great strides on the offensive side of the ball. The Panthers decided to gamble when they gave up a ton of draft picks in a massive trade package to leap up to the first overall pick in the 2023 NFL Draft. The team did unfortunately lose DJ Moore in the deal, but they’ve done some work to cover up for Moore’s loss.
Firstly, I want to focus on them signing Andy Dalton to a two year deal. I find this to be a stellar signing. Dalton’s starting days are over, but I’m not sure there is someone more equipped to serve as a bridge/player-coach type than Andy Dalton. He’s got over a decade of quality starting experience in the NFL and there’s been nothing to say that he isn’t a phenomenal teammate.
What I like most about this signing is that Dalton surely knows his role in the NFL. If he wants to continue playing, he’ll have to take these respectably paying backup QB deals, and pairing Dalton with someone like CJ Stroud is an excellent idea from the Panthers.
Carolina also made a nice move in the backfield, signing Miles Sanders to a four year deal after he had a career year with the Philadelphia Eagles in 2022. He’s one of the 15 best running backs in the NFL and will serve as a nice security blanket for the rookie QB. I also love that Carolina got him for just $6.35m per season. That, to me, is a steal.
The inked tight end Hayden Hurst to a three year deal, and while Hurst is decent at best, he’s a more quality option than any tight end that Carolina has had for a good while. He’ll also likely serve as a security blanket for a rookie QB.
The team also re-signed Bradley Bozeman, who I believe to be one of the best centers in football. I don’t need to lecture readers why having a quality offensive line is such a bonus for a young QB, and General Manager Scott Fitterer did his job here by re-signing Bozeman.
Perhaps one of my favorite moves of the offseason thus far is the Panthers signing wide receiver Adam Thielen to a three year deal. Even into his 30s, Thielen has proven to be a productive wide receiver, amassing over 700 receiving yards in each of the last two seasons.
Overall, the Carolina Panthers have made some very strong moves this offseason and are doing marvelous prep work for a rookie QB in 2023.