The aggressive Carolina Panthers were back at it on Monday, trading for former Jets first-round pick Sam Darnold, a move they feel will help them return to contention.
Bringing in Darnold wasn’t too much of a shock. There have been rumors of a Darnold/Panthers connection since before free agency even started.
The deal to get Darnold cost Carolina a 2021 sixth-rounder and a pair of 2022 picks (a second-rounder and a fourth), but in the end, the team felt that the 23-year-old who has three years already as a starter in the NFL was worth it.
Panthers general manager Scott Fitterer now has another dilemma on his hands: what to do with current starting quarterback Teddy Bridgewater.
The Cats brought Bridgewater in last season to be their starter, and he went just 4-11, throwing 15 scores with 11 picks and a QB rating of 92.1.
Fitterer admits that the team will have to make some tough decisions with Bridgewater and the quarterback spot.
“I think there’s things we have to work through, obviously,” Fitterer said Monday.
“And I’ve already talked to Teddy’s agents. We’re going to find the right place, whether it’s here or wherever it may be, we’ll figure things out, contract-wise as well.”
The Panthers’ options with Bridgewater include finding a trade partner, releasing him, and keeping him as Darnold’s backup and hoping he won’t have any issues with that.
For now, the Panthers have Bridgewater under their control for another two more seasons, as Carolina inked him to a three-year deal last offseason for three years $63 million with a signing bonus of $15 million.