While there are still a few interesting free agents remaining on the open market, the vast majority of the Carolina Panthers offseason moves have already been made. With this in mind, Pro Football Focus recently released offseason grades for all 32 teams, and assigned a B+ for their work in securing the first-overall pick and improving the overall talent on the roster.
PFF Gives Carolina Panthers “B+” Offseason Grade
According to PFF analysts Sam Monson, “[t]he Panthers deserve credit for aggressively attacking the quarterback position…The price was very steep, but it meant they came out of the draft with Bryce Young, the top quarterback available and a player who was often talked about as having generational talent if he just stood 6′-foot-2 instead of 5-foot-10.”
It’s hard to disagree with anything here. The Panthers moved heaven and Earth for the right to draft Bryce Young, but if he pans out, he’s easily worth the selection. A franchise quarterback can make or break your organization, and Young was the best prospect in the class.
Of course, that wasn’t the only move Carolina made. The Panthers signed multiple veteran wide receivers to replace the departed D.J. Moore, and Monson acknowledged that this strategy was “likely as good as the Panthers could do.” When it comes to their draft picks, Monson specifically highlighted the selection of Chandler Zavala as “a player who could easily wind up starting games for Carolina at guard.” For what it’s worth, the Panthers also earned an impressive draft grade, considering they only had five selections following the Bryce Young trade.
Yeah I’m all in on Chandler Zavala (LG 64)
This is the play that sold mepic.twitter.com/UMVK6wOZkO
— Draft Guy Jared (@DraftGuyJared) March 31, 2023
Is This Panthers Offseason Grade Justified?
Despite their relatively strong finish to the 2022 season, the Panthers entered the offseason with a lot of holes on the roster. Needless to say, they were unable to fix every flaw, but they did prioritize the big ones. Bryce Young was well worth the cost, as Carolina knows better than anyone that you can’t just get by with a journeyman veteran at the position. While the Panthers likely overpaid for running back Miles Sanders, it’s hard to complain about anything else they did over the past few months. Taking into account their limited resources, the team largely made the best moves possible to improve the talent on the roster.
Perhaps the best way for the Panthers to improve their offseason grade is by adding another free agent or two. The team currently has a staggering $26.57 million in available cap space, so they could certainly afford to bring in someone like DeAndre Hopkins.
Prior to his official release, Hopkins said that he wanted to play for a contender with a franchise quarterback. However, actions speak louder than words, and his two visits with the Tennessee Titans and New England Patriots show that he’s willing to go after the highest bidder. Adding a legitimate outside weapon would help Bryce Young’s development while simultaneously improving the weakest part of the roster. If Young hits the ground running, Carolina could take advantage of their easy schedule and weak division to lead an unlikely charge to the postseason.
Main Photo: Jim Dedmon – USA Today Sports