Could the new-look Carolina Panthers possibly be led by Heisman winner and national champion Joe Burrow in 2020 and beyond?
The Carolina Panthers are in prime position to draft their quarterback of the future this offseason, and after the hire of Joe Brady yesterday, it’s not out of the question that Joe Burrow could be that guy. Burrow has an amazing college resume similar to Cam Newton’s, and won the Heisman and national championship this past season, and is almost certainly going to be the top pick in the 2020 NFL Draft. With that being said, Carolina would have to trade for the first pick in order to get the former LSU star.
The Panthers are under a new regime for the first time in a decade after the hiring of head coach Matt Rhule.
In the span of three years, Matt Rhule took Baylor from one-win and worst in their conference to 11 wins and the brink of the College Football Playoff. His rapid success with the Bears earned him enough trust from the Panthers to not only hire him as a rookie head coach, but also to hand him a seven-year, $60 million contract to go along with it. Rhule was known for his tantalizing rushing attack at Baylor and already has one of the league’s best running backs in Christian McCaffrey. CMC may be the best all-purpose back since former Charger LaDainian Tomlinson; however, what to do with the quarterback situation remains a mystery.
In years past quarterback hasn’t been an issue with Cam leading the charge, but his myriad of injuries over the past two seasons, as well as the $19 million due next season potentially make him expendable. The money could be saved if the star quarterback is traded or cut before June 1st, which is a real possibility with a new coaching staff and new ownership running the ship.
How and why should the Panthers go after and trade up for Burrow?
With Newton sidelined last season we saw what the offense looked like with Kyle Allen as the starter, and it’s safe to say he isn’t a long-term solution. In 13 games Allen threw 17 touchdowns with 16 interceptions. Will Grier didn’t look any better during his turn, as he failed to pass for a touchdown while throwing four interceptions in just two games. The backup situation could continue to hold the team back if Newton gets hurt again, or if he simply doesn’t return to Carolina.
Yesterday Brady–LSU’s passing game coordinator–announced he would be making a return to the NFL as the Panthers’ offensive coordinator. The addition of Brady is huge and could help a talented offensive core reach new heights. The big question, though, is who will be the quarterback. An emerging option for Carolina is Burrow. In all likelihood he will be the first pick, so in order to draft him, the Panthers would have to trade up.
Carolina currently holds the seventh pick and could use it to create a trade package that includes Newton, and could also include either future or mid-round picks. Acquiring the first pick would undoubtedly come at a high price, but could prove to be a huge win for everyone involved. The Bengals would get a quarterback they desperately need, along with the option to draft another with the seventh pick. In turn, the Panthers wouldn’t have to eat all of Newton’s salary, and would have their next franchise star. Drafting Burrow is far from a certainty for Carolina, but would be a win-win situation for everyone involved and may just be a reality in April.