Sam Darnold is not that guy. He’s just not. Matt Rhule had an opportunity to take a quarterback in the previous draft and passed on both Justin Fields and Mac Jones, the latter in the postseason with the Patriots. Jaycee Horn, albeit through injury, didn’t play all season, but the Panthers could have had a better quarterback if they chose.
Now, with rumblings about the potential trade of running back Christian McCaffrey, you just have to wonder what’s going on in Carolina right now. Additionally, though the defense has had their moments, the Buccaneers woke up in the second half and wound up dropping 40+ on them.
At the end of the day, the division doesn’t get any easier as long as Tom Brady quarterbacks the Bucs. Additionally, Atlanta may have a new QB, but they have the pieces to work with, and New Orleans isn’t going anywhere soon. It’s going to take a massive shift to see Carolina back in the saddle. Doable but challenging.
Yeesh. The Windy City went into the Twin Cities and didn’t even score 20 points. Plus, the mere fact that they chose to roll with veterans instead of giving their young talent a real last shot for the season means that there needs to be a complete culture change.
Head coach Matt Nagy was let go on Black Monday, as was general manager Ryan Pace. However, the eyes will still focus upon team president Ted Phillip who has been around for close to two decades and earned one Super Bowl in the ’80s.
Also, with no first-round pick, next season due to the Justin Fields trade, the new regime that comes in will have to make due in reshaping the culture with whatever resources they have via the draft and cap space. There are some nice pieces like Fields, Jaylon Johnson, Darnell Mooney, and Roquan Smith. Now that there is hopefully a fresh slate, there can be some progress in the Windy City.