Grier Preparing for First Career NFL Start?

Schuyler Callihan

Yesterday afternoon the Carolina Panthers announced the firing of nine-year head coach Ron Rivera. In a move that shocked many around the league, it may be a sign that a lot is about to change in Charlotte.

The Panthers are coming off a 29-21 loss to the (3-9) Washington Redskins and have dropped four games in a row, ending all hopes of reaching the postseason. Franchise quarterback Cam Newton has been sidelined since the beginning of the season due to an injury and his future with the organization has looked murky ever since. Now that Rivera has been relieved of his duties, this could mean that Newton's time in Charlotte could come to an abrupt end as well. 

The 30-year old quarterback has not been the same since his MVP season in which he guided the Panthers to Super Bowl 50 and has actually ranked in the bottom third of the league in many categories. With his injury history, declining performance and age, I would expect that the organization will part ways with Newton as well.

Moving on from Newton would be an interesting move for the Panthers, especially since they don't have a clear future at quarterback. Kyle Allen has started all 10 games since Newton's injury and after winning his first four starts, has followed that up with a 1-5 record. Allen has been known to hold onto the ball too long and take sacks or make a throw late into coverage. Allen was sacked seven times on Sunday and a few weeks ago, he threw four interceptions against the Atlanta Falcons.

The Panthers have refrained from unleashing third round pick and former West Virginia quarterback Will Grier, but is now the time? One would think. 

With the season at a loss, the head coach fired and your franchise quarterback sidelined for the season, what else do you have to lose? Continuing to invest in the undrafted Allen is a mistake for Carolina. Not to say that Grier will be the saving grace, but you have to see what you have in him. With only four games left in the year, now would be the perfect time to get him a ton of playing time down the stretch and see if he's worth taking a look at as Newton's successor. 

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