Schuyler Callihan: C
This trade does save the Panthers a lot of money in cap space but as far as what Carolina got in return, it was a little underwhelming. I thought that the Panthers could have got a 4th round pick in return but his value dropped when Sam Darnold was acquired. The one good thing is that Carolina does get a 6th round pick back which means they essentially gave up a 2nd and a 4th round pick to get Darnold. If Carolina chooses to trade back on Thursday night and gets a future 1st round pick in addition to swapping 1st round picks, then the Panthers will have made up for what they traded to New York.
Will Grier, P.J. Walker, & Tommy Stevens. That’s Sam Darnold’s competition right now. GM Scott Fitterer has been adamant about having competition at QB. I don’t know about you, but it seems like another QB will be added to the roster at some point.
Matt Welch: C
It was only a matter of time before Teddy Bridgewater moved on from Carolina once the Panthers traded for Sam Darnold. The trade makes it almost certain that the Panthers will bring in another QB prior to the start of the season, whether it be a veteran free agent or through the draft, to give Darnold some competition. The cap savings for the future gives the Panthers wiggle room, and the draft pick Carolina receives help lessen any damage done in acquiring Darnold. I would have liked to see a higher draft pick, so I’ll grade the trade a C.
Josh Altorfer: C
A sixth-round pick is nothing to get excited about but the Panthers obviously had no intentions to keep Bridgewater as a backup. The offense felt extremely limited with Teddy at the helm in 2020 despite facilitating three 1,000-plus yard receivers. It’s tough for an NFL organization to admit they’re wrong about a player but it’s the right move. Carolina fans will forget about the mediocre Teddy tenure as long as Sam Darnold can produce in 2021.
Billy Riccette: C+
At least the Panthers were able to get something for Bridgewater, but this obviously was a move on the horizon. This clears the way, for now, to the starting job for Sam Darnold, unless the Panthers still go ahead and take a quarterback in round one, be it Justin Fields or Mac Jones or Trey Lance. The Panthers likely thought they were going to have to eat some of the money regardless to make a deal happen, and that’s what happened here, but it clears him from the books in 2022, with the team already starting to build some cap space for next season.
Jason Hewitt: A
I give the Panthers an A. Hear me out on this one. This was a fantastic move by Scott Fitterer. The Panthers got rid of Bridgewater’s atrocious contract, so now they can allocate that money somewhere else. Sure, a sixth-rounder isn’t much, but what else could Fitterer do in that situation? The front office made it crystal clear that Bridgewater was not a desirable starting quarterback in the NFL, and Bridgewater’s performance on the field last season only added to that. This was much better than releasing him and eating dead money. Carolina can finally move forward at the quarterback position without throwing money away. Scott Fitterer has done an excellent job this offseason, and he proved that once again today.
Tyler Ball: C+
I understand about the cap space and I think trading him is good..but I think Carolina got the shorter end of the stick here..so I’m grading this at C+.
Blake Johnson: B+
Yes paying him $7 million this year not to play for Carolina is disappointing and you would like to see more than a 6th round in return, but saving $26 million in cap space next year is a huge plus for them. It also opens the door for a QB at 8.
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