Rumors have been swirling around the Carolina Panthers for the last couple of weeks, with reports surfacing that the team may be active during the league’s trade deadline – which ended Tuesday at 4 pm. While offers were made, Scott Fitterer and company are rolling with guys they have – and rightfully so.
The Los Angeles Rams reportedly offered the Panthers multiple first-round picks in exchange for defensive end Brian Burns. There was also speculation that teams were interested in wide receiver DJ Moore, but what would it mean for the franchise if they parted ways with those core pieces – for however many picks. Trading elite young core players for unknown drafts picks years from now is not smart, not to mention the fact that Carolina would likely have to use those picks to draft their replacements, with no guarantees that they would meet the level of play of those traded.
It would also mean the team would intentionally go into tank mode, even though they’re still in the hunt in this season’s weak NFC South. What message would that send to the team and fans who have had hope restored since the departure of Matt Rhule?
Carolina is a franchise quarterback away from being a playoff contender. The defense has the potential to be top-ten in the league for years to come. The offensive line, which has been an area of weakness for years, has turned into one of the most solid groups on the team, and DJ Moore has just scratched the surface of his potential. The only piece that’s missing (which happens to be most important) is stability at the quarterback position. Whether the Panthers fill that need via the draft, trade or free agency is yet to be seen, but getting rid of your young stars to stock-pile unknown picks won’t put the Panthers in a better position.