David Tepper finally got around to solving Carolina’s quarterback problem

Panthers owner David Tepper said the final episode of his team’s turnaround several years ago is now dead All or nothing The NFL is set to cluster around .500 for each team on Amazon, and the difference comes from having the perfect quarterback.

“This league is set up to be an 8-8 league,” Tepper said at the time. “Everything is fair in this league. You’ve got great coaches, great GMs, some advantages with facilities, advantages in coaching, management process, whatever, you know, analytics, whatever you need, that’s what you need. You need a good quarterback.

Tepper, in five years as the team’s owner, couldn’t get one. Now, with a bold move to first in a round, he has a chance to get one.

This is one of the benefits of the draft. If ever the best prospects go to their allotted places. With Frank Reich as coach and developing a young quarterback to be a franchise player the Panthers haven’t had since Cam Newton was in his prime, the Panthers have no reason to think that will happen. However, they have to make the right decision.

Twelve years after Newton came through with the No. 1 pick, the Panthers got another crack at a franchise. Of course, they may decide that several players fit the bill, allowing them to trade up, recover some assets, and still have a guy they trust. It won’t be an easy decision, given the bust ratio for top-10 quarterbacks is significant.


Five years ago, four quarterbacks went in the top 10 picks. One of the four – Josh Allen – ended up a proven winner. Of the other three, the Panthers have hired two of them (Baker Mayfield and Sam Darnold). Neither worked.

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So now, with less than 50 days until the draft, the Panthers will find out how many guys they truly believe can be a franchise guy. Whether they stay put and make the first choice, or slide down and take the second or third option (as Allen was), there is a risk that it will all go wrong.

Get it right, and the Panthers could become perennial contenders. Don’t, they can be a joke.

Regardless, Tepper’s game was aggressive. That’s okay too. Now the real work begins. They need to build a better program based on top quarterbacks, and they need to believe that what they get will be the one they need to turn the franchise around.

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