What was the Carolina Panthers’ worst move this offseason?

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Mistakes are a part of life. They also make regular appearances for your favorite NFL team, whichever it might be. Every year, organizations make blunders. They sign mediocre players to exorbitant contracts in free agency, they pass on promising prospects in the draft and they let quality athletes go in favor of negligible salary cap savings.

The Carolina Panthers are no exception to the rule. Even though general manager Scott Fitterer has generally done a good job in his first offseason at the helm, he has also made some highly-questionable decisions. According to the Athletic, signing offensive lineman Cameron Erving was the worst move the team has made this offseason.

“Despite nearly a decade of failing to find a successor to Jordan Gross (who retired after the 2013 season!), new GM Scott Fitterer did not treat the position with much urgency. The Panthers signed journeyman free agent Cam Erving to a two-year, $10 million deal, despite the former first-round pick coming off a poor, injury-plagued season in Dallas.”

If the plan really is to start Erving at left tackle, odds are it’s going to go bad for the Panthers once the season begins. However, as bad as Erving is, it’s not the kind of mistake that can haunt an organization for a generation.

From our perspective there was at least one move (or non-move) that qualifies as a worse decision. Sitting at No. 8 overall in the draft, Carolina had a chance to select a potential franchise quarterback and play him for five years on a relatively cheap rookie contract. Instead of taking Justin Fields, they went with Jaycee Horn instead.

While we expect Horn to be an excellent cornerback at the next level, passing on a top QB prospect when you don’t have an established starter is just about as bad as it gets in the NFL. If Fields goes on to become a star for the Bears, the Panthers may be regretting that one for decades.

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