The Carolina Panthers unveiled their initial 53-man roster for the 2020 NFL season yesterday. While there will almost certainly be more changes coming, we have several questions about this current group they’re carrying into the season.
Here are four of the most pressing questions general manager Marty Hurney will need to address.
How long will they carry three QBs?
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In the past, the Panthers have only carried two quarterbacks on the roster. This year, they’re changing things up by keeping three – starter Teddy Bridgewater and backups P.J. Walker and Will Grier. Coach Matt Rhule told the media recently that the QB2 competition could continue week to week. At some point, the team may want that extra roster spot to fill another need. The question for Rhule and Hurney is how long they’re prepared to let that battle go on with more pressing needs.
What’s the plan at tight end?
(AP Photo/Nell Redmond)
Perhaps the most surprising development from yesterday is Carolina only rostering two tight ends: Ian Thomas and Chris Manhertz. It’s especially concerning since Thomas is dealing with a hyperextended toe injury. While it’s clear offensive coordinator Joe Brady is going to de-emphasize this position, two tight ends is extremely thin for an NFL team. Will they trade for a veteran or sign one of the few remaining free agents at this position?
What can they get for WR Seth Roberts?
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Speaking of trades, over the weekend Albert Breer at Sports Illustrated reported that wide receiver Seth Roberts’ name has come up in trade talks. The Panthers overpaid him when he signed, so it’s hard to imagine what they might get for him in any potential deal. We do know that Carolina has more than enough depth at wide receiver, so losing Roberts would be no big deal. If they are able to swing a trade, it’s critical they get a more valuable piece at a position of need.
Should they trade for a veteran DB?
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Nowhere is that need greater than in the defensive backfield, which is easily the most inexperienced and weakest group on paper for this team. Tre Boston, Jeremy Chinn and Kenny Robinson give them some solid depth at safety, but the Panthers desperately need to add more help at cornerback. The Athletic recently reported they’re calling other teams about secondary help. However, even if they could trade for Deion Sanders in his prime, it likely would not move the needle much in terms of their projected win total. It might make more sense to let the rookies take their lumps and learn rather than give up draft capital for a veteran corner.