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Fixing the Carolina Panthers



The Panthers have been scrambling for answers at QB since Cam Newton left the team, and they may have finally got it with Bryce Young. But, what's missing now is a supporting cast around him and weapons for him to succeed, because year one Bryce Young was something to forget.


I think the Panthers are off to a good start with a hire like Dave Canales, an offensive-minded guy who has experience as a QB Coach and play-caller. One of which helped revive Baker Mayfield and Geno Smith's careers, and I'm sure with some foundation can also help Bryce Young!


Free Agency/Trades: Helping Bryce Succeed


Currently, I don't see any players that would make sense for them to trade, so let's jump into free agency, where the Panthers need to be spending some money and adjusting their roster.

 

Notable Free Agents and What I Would Do ($28,599,402 in Cap Space)

  • C.J. Henderson (CB) ❌ Let Walk

  • D.J. Chark (WR) ❌ Let Walk

  • Shaquil Griffin (CB) ❌ Let Walk

  • Frankie Luvu (LB) ✅ Re-Sign

  • Brian Burns (DE) ✅ Re-Sign

  • Jeremy Chinn (S) ✅ Re-Sign

  • Ihmir Smith-Marsette (WR) ✅ Re-Sign

  • Laviska Shenault (WR) ❌ Let Walk

  • Raheem Blackshear (RB) ❌ Let Walk

  • Andy Dalton (QB) ✅ Restructure

  • Adam Thielen (WR) ✅ Restructure

  • Miles Sanders (RB) ❌ Release


Notable Free Agent Signing I Would Make ($28,599,402 in Cap Space)

  • Lavonte David (LB)

  • Dalton Schultz (TE)

  • D'Andre Swift (RB)

  • Josh Reynolds (WR)

  • Sean Murphy-Bunting (CB)

  • Ezra Cleveland (OL)

  • George Fant (OT)


It's careful, but value spending in free agency. You grab some depth pieces like Reynolds and Bunting. But you also get some plug and play guys like Lavonte David who knows Canales from TB, and some offensive line help too.


Now adding Josh Reynolds doesn't fix this WR Room, but adding Dalton Schultz is the next best thing, having a reliable TE who can find mismatches is exactly what Young needs. Also adding Swift to be Canales' version of Rachaad White, because we saw how he was utilized. Some small additions and with good coaching can go far.


NFL Draft: Keep Building Around Young

 

           The Panthers lost their 1st Overall Pick to the Bears, and it does to an extent limit what they can do in the draft. But lets see what picks they have and what they can do with them.


Panthers 2024 Draft Picks

  • 2nd Round (#33 Overall)

  • 3rd Round (#65 Overall)

  • 4th Round (#101 Overall)

  • 5th Round (#140 Overall)

  • 5th Round (#164 Overall)

  • 6th Round (#179 Overall)

 

In my Panthers mock, I have them drafting (WR) Troy Franklin in the 2nd Round, then in the 3rd Round (CB) Josh Newton and the 4th Round (OL) Brandon Coleman for some added depth. With the remainder of picks I would focus on some defensive line and offensive weapon depth at WR and RB.


Altogether, here is what the revamped OFFENSE would look like;

QB - Bryce Young + Andy Dalton

RB - D'Andre Swift + Chuba Hubbard + Ray Davis

WR1 - Jonathan Mingo + Terrace Marshall + Ihmir Smith-Marsette

WR2 - Troy Franklin + Josh Reynolds

SWR - Adam Thielen + Shi Smith

TE - Dalton Schultz + Tommy Tremble + Ian Thomas

 

With these moves and an improved offensive plan, this is a team geared towards trending upward. Even a 8-9 season would suffice as long as Young looks like the guy they wanted in the draft. 2025 would be the year to make a big move for an elite WR and turn this offense up even further.


Fantasy Implications

 

Bryce Young 📈

D'Andre Swift 📈

Adam Thielen ↔️

Jonathan Mingo ↔️

Dalton Schultz 📈

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