Carolina Panthers Free Agency Targets: Quarterback

Examining the Panthers' options at quarterback in free agency,
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As we inch closer and closer to the start of free agency, we will look at several options that the Carolina Panthers could target at each position. Carolina has roughly $18 million in available cap space according to Spotrac and if they are able to re-sign OT Taylor Moton, they could have somewhere in the neighborhood of $10 million. There are a few ways the Panthers could create extra cap space but don't expect them to make a big splash this offseason.

Today, we breakdown the top three quarterback options for the Panthers. One may seem like a pipe dream, while the other two are more realistic possibilities. If the Panthers were to sign any of the following quarterbacks, the teams would need to find a trade partner for current starter Teddy Bridgewater.

Dak Prescott

More than likely, Prescott will return to the Dallas Cowboys but in the event that he does not, Carolina will be mentioned as a potential landing spot. However, there are two big issues that could prevent Carolina from actually pursuing Prescott - cap space and injury history. 

There's no question that Prescott can be a franchise quarterback and that's why the team that does land him will have to pay a hefty price. If he were fully healthy, the big contract might not be as intimidating. Unfortunately, Prescott was lost for the season in Week five due to a compound fracture and dislocation of his right ankle, which will make teams hesitant to offer him a big deal, even the Cowboys.

The chances that Prescott comes to Carolina are slim to none and even if they did get seriously involved in contract talks, there would have to be some moves made in order to be able to afford him.

Mitch Trubisky

Trubisky's market value currently sits at about $8 million per year. This may seem a bit steep for a guy that was benched for Nick Foles, but it's honestly quite a bargain. Trubisky may catch a lot of heat for his ability to be a "franchise guy" but when you look at his overall numbers, they're not bad at all. He holds a 29-21 record as a starter, has a career completion percentage of 64%, and has thrown 64 touchdowns to just 37 interceptions (1 interception for every 42.6 passes attempted).

Trubisky is also more of a dual-threat quarterback than Teddy Bridgewater, which is more of the style that Matt Rhule and offensive coordinator Joe Brady want at the position. If the Panthers don't feel comfortable trading up in the draft to get their quarterback of the future, Trubisky would not be a bad placeholder. It would give him another opportunity to start and run the offense and for Carolina, it would be similar to Teddy's situation only this time, at a much cheaper price. 

Ryan Fitzpatrick

If the Miami Dolphins were smart, they would bring Fitzpatrick back to continue to mentor Tua Tagovailoa. The Dolphins were the surprise team of the NFL this season and much of that was due to the play of Ryan Fitzpatrick who helped Miami get off to a torrid start.

Midway through the year, Dolphins head coach Brian Flores shocked everyone, including some guys on the roster by making the decision to start Tagovailoa over Fitzpatrick. However, things didn't go as smooth as they had hoped and when things got shaky, Miami called Fitzpatrick out of the bullpen to try and get the team back in the game or close the game out.

Obviously, Fitzpatrick would not be the team's future but he has mentored many young quarterbacks over the years and handles that role perfectly. If Carolina drafted Trey Lance or Mac Jones, they would be able to sit and learn from Fitz until they were ready to take over the offense.

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