Panthers’ Derek Carr, Bryce Young choice may alter Bears’ plans

INDIANAPOLIS — Panthers common supervisor Scott Fitterer has been open that his “superb” quarterback state of affairs is to “draft and develop,” ideally with a excessive decide within the first spherical.

“There’s so many advantages to drafting and creating,” Fitterer advised reporters Wednesday on the NFL Scouting Combine. “That is the best path to go. We’ll see if we are able to get ready the place we get one of many guys we like. s there a man within the second spherical? Can we rise up within the first spherical? Those are all of the issues we’re exploring proper now.”

The Panthers at present sit at No. 9 within the 2023 NFL Draft and look like s potential commerce associate for the Bears if common supervisor Ryan Poles is snug transferring down eight spots.

However, Derek Carr may quickly throw a wrench into the works.

The Panthers met with Carr on Tuesday evening in Indianapolis. The veteran quarterback is believed to be selecting between the Panthers, New Orleans Saints, and New York Jets.

Carolina has performed the veteran quarterback roulette previously and failed miserably. But Carr is on a distinct degree than Sam Darnold, Baker Mayfield, and Teddy Bridgewater.

“Derek is a wonderful chief,” new Panthers head coach Frank Reich mentioned Wednesday. “He’s a wonderful passer. He’s very achieved. You take a look at the match, you recognize, how does it match with our staff in our locker room? He checks quite a lot of bins that you simply’re searching for in a quarterback. There’s no query. And that is why he’s the place he is he’s at this level in his profession. And, you recognize, the chance it is a distinctive alternative to speak to somebody of that caliber as a participant and as an individual. So we did not take that as a right.”


Reich is aware of the pitfalls of leaping on the veteran quarterback carousel hoping to strike gold. Reich tried and failed to search out the best veteran match throughout his time with the Colts. Philip Rivers was stable in his one season in Indianapolis however fell brief within the playoffs. The failed experiments with Carson Wentz and Matt Ryan marred the next two seasons.

That expertise in Indianapolis will assist form how Reich assaults the quarterback market this offseason.

“You be taught from these, however you then get to yearly and it’s a must to yearly is an unbiased 12 months from the earlier you are taking that have from it and now into a distinct group and also you clearly at all times need stability at quarterback,” Reich mentioned. “I feel that is an enormous lesson discovered for me for the primary from the final time round, you recognize, what’s our greatest reply for stability of quarterbacks within the close to time period and long run future?”

That stability may come within the type of Bryce Young, the Alabama star who is predicted to be the primary decide within the 2023 NFL Draft. Bringing Young to Carolina would require a commerce with the Bears. One that probably will value a fairly penny.

But Young could be price it.

“You know, extremely smart, very quick processor, very poised, correct passer you recognize playmaker,” Reich mentioned of Young, who the Panthers met with on the mix. “He checks he checks quite a lot of bins. I imply, you recognize no moments too huge for him very, very excellent participant Seems like a terrific younger man. Very spectacular.”

“He’s a particular man,” Fitterer echoed later about Young.

The query now for the Panthers turns into: Is Young the best match to be their long-term answer? Or may they be higher served going with Carr in a wide-open NFC South?

Reich is each the Panthers’ short- and long-term future. Carr is barely 32, so he could be superb for a staff with the expertise to clutch its division. But passing on Young could possibly be a raffle that units the franchise again a decade.

“I do not suppose you can also make that call, you recognize, primarily based on, hey, the standing of that division proper now,” Reich mentioned. “Whatever choice we make is, you recognize, what’s finest not only for this 12 months, however you are trying on the horizon. You know, clearly, should you draft a man, you are a really long run horizon. If you go free agent, that might go Derek Carr. I imply, the good factor with Derek is, you recognize, he will be 32. Those are sort of prime quarterback years. So there’s nonetheless a very good 5 12 months window, you recognize, remains to be a very good 5 12 months window there. So, positive, we wish to we’re like each staff. We wish to win that division subsequent 12 months. But you actually need to look past that as effectively.”


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As many as 4 quarterbacks may go in Round 1, with Kentucky’s Will Levis and Florida’s Anthony Richardson presumably rising because the pre-draft course of ramps up.

The Panthers may, in principle, wait to see if a man they like falls of their lap at No. 9. Fitterer made it clear that the Panthers will solely commerce as much as seize a quarterback if they’ve little doubt that is the man they wish to lead them.

“You go get the man that you really want,” Fitterer mentioned about the benefits of buying and selling up. “If you’ve gotten conviction on a man, you go get him. It’s fairly easy that manner. If you do not know and you are going to give all these sources to go up and get it, you are hurting your staff in the long term. You higher be proper. You higher have conviction should you do transfer up. But whenever you do do this, you are all-in.”

The Bears need the Panthers to be all-in. The extra groups clamoring to maneuver up, the higher the deal Poles can strike.

This week on the NFL Scouting Combine has been all about these potential commerce targets attempting to chill their curiosity in transferring up. Houston Texans common supervisor Nick Caserio mentioned he’ll have a gaggle of three or 4 gamers he’ll be snug drafting at No. 2.

Colts common supervisor Chris Ballard mentioned he is undecided he cannot get the quarterback he needs by sticking at No. 4.

The Bears, in the meantime, have a calculus to make of their very own. Poles has to determine how far he is prepared to maneuver down and for what worth. That will likely be dictated by how the Bears view the draft board.

“It simply relies upon how far again,” Poles mentioned when requested if buying and selling the No. 1 decide was the best end result Tuesday. “But yeah, we want lots, and that provides us extra alternative to usher in extra gamers. It’s a very good state of affairs to be in for the place our membership is. But on the similar time, once I speak about the place guys are on the draft chart, if now we have somebody that’s so excessive and in a particular class that claims, you recognize what, this man goes to have an effect on our staff each from a tradition standpoint and likewise from a gameday standpoint, then that could be the very best factor to do as effectively.”

The commerce speak surrounding the No. 1 decide will warmth up after this week. This is the week when feelers are put out, curiosity is crystalized, and the gamers make themselves identified.

The Panthers’ curiosity in Carr is actual. How that dance performs out will decide if the Panthers put each ft within the ring for the No. 1 decide or take away themselves totally from the equation.


At the second, the Colts and Texans look like the Bears’ almost definitely commerce companions. But do not sleep on Reich and the Panthers. The NFC South is there for the taking, and Reich understands how necessary it’s to have the best quarterback in place.

In the top, Reich’s previous expertise, proprietor David Tepper’s want to win in any respect prices, and Carolina’s quarterback desperation may make them essentially the most optimum goal for the Bears.

But they need to say no to Carr first.

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