Carolina Panthers: 5 offseason needs in 2020

Carolina Panthers

The Panthers hired Matt Rhule to remake the Panthers in his image. Here are the coach’s top five offseason priorities to rebuild the Carolina roster. 

Ron Rivera’s long tenure in Carolina is over. Matt Rhule’s arrival in Carolina should equal big offseason changes for the Panthers. The real challenge for Rhule and his coaching staff will be to identify what positions need immediate attention and what spots can wait until a year from now.

The Panthers have a roster that is ripe for a period of serious transition. Naturally, there are a ton of questions about what the team will do at quarterback. There are valid arguments for starting the 2020 regular season with Cam Newton, Kyle Allen or Will Grier under center. It’s also possible that the Panthers will draft a new quarterback of the future with their No. 7 overall pick in April’s draft.

The team’s defense could also undergo a major overhaul this offseason. The team’s top cornerback, James Bradberry, is a significant flight risk in free agency. Key pass rushers Gerald McCoy, Mario Addison, Bruce Irvin, and Vernon Butler are all free agents too. It’s impossible to think that all of those players will be returning to Charlotte in 2020.

Figuring out how to retool the Panthers’ pass rush is a must for Marty Hurney’s front office this postseason.

5. New edge rushers

The Panthers aren’t going to let all of their free agent defensive lineman go, but they won’t re-sign the entire group either. As such, injecting more youth into the group will be a must for the Panthers.

The good news is that last year’s first round pick, Brian Burns, flashed Pro Bowl potential last year. His snap count and impact should only grow in his second season as a professional.

Burns’ presence on the edge should lead the Panthers to spending more of their offseason capital on an inside pass rusher. McCoy looks likely to leave via free agency. Spending a high draft pick on a disruptive defensive tackle would really help reset the Carolina defense.

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