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AP Photo/Kelvin Kuo

Teddy Bridgewater, Philip Rivers Among Potential Panthers Quarterbacks In 2020

Following the Panthers’ hiring of former LSU assistant coach Joe Brady as their new offensive coordinator, there has been immediate speculation that Carolina could make a move up the draft board to select Heisman Trophy winner Joe Burrow with the No. 1 pick in this year’s NFL draft. That type of move seems unrealistic, but these guys are potential quarterback options for Carolina in 2020, in order from most likely to least likely.


Teddy Bridgewater

The NFL offseason obviously hasn’t begun yet, but there hasn’t been a ton of talk surrounding Teddy Bridgewater to this point. Granted, he was in an ideal situation on a top-notch offense, but Bridgewater could not have played much better while filling in for Drew Brees this season—unless he stays in New Orleans and waits to take over for Brees, he should be a good bet to land a starting gig in 2020. The Panthers could be the perfect spot for Teddy, as he would be running similar concepts under Joe Brady; also, Carolina is a squad that isn’t certain to be in the market to draft a quarterback over the next couple of years like the Dolphins (a team Bridgewater could have signed with as a starter last offseason) were a year ago.


Marcus Mariota

Bridgewater will turn just 28 next season and can be a starter for another several years at least, and Marcus Mariota is even younger (set to turn 27 in the fall). Mariota brings the leadership Rhule would undoubtedly want from his quarterback, and the former No. 2 overall pick’s physical skillset should be appealing to all teams with potential quarterback openings. Mariota’s starting experience and ability with a widely praised offensive scheme could immediately be scary for opposing defenses.


Nick Foles

The situation with former Super Bowl MVP Nick Foles is interesting, as he’s still under contract with the Jaguars and ultimately might just return to Jacksonville to compete for the starting job—or the Jags could opt to trade him to another team (like the Colts). But it’s easy to just see Rhule liking the former Eagles quarterback and wanting him to lead the first year of leading an NFL franchise, especially because he probably followed him pretty closely as the head coach at Temple from 2013-2016, seeing Foles’ 27-2 season and likely following his championship run in 2017.


Cam Newton

The current feeling is that Cam Newton will not be back with the Panthers in 2020, but it probably isn’t locked in for Rhule and the new coaching staff. They all might like what they see on film from Newton, and perhaps there is no trade partner that would give Carolina what they want in return. He’s had ups and downs throughout his career, but Newton is a former MVP that will turn just 31 in May, so it shouldn’t be shocking if he ends up returning to the Panthers.


Philip Rivers

Philip Rivers reportedly moved down to Florida, and the Panthers would not be outrageously far away from his new home like California would be if he stays with the Chargers (which does not appear likely). Rivers would be an experienced veteran that could be a bridge option for a rookie in the next couple of years, and the gunslinging quarterback from the South seems like it would be a fit in Carolina personality-wise. Rivers would have no problem checking it down to All-Pro running back Christian McCaffrey as much as the defense allows. Another thing to keep in mind is that Rivers went to college at NC State.


Joe Burrow

As stated in the open, this scenario is not particularly realistic, but the Bengals should at least listen to offers for the No. 1 pick. It will be interesting to see if Panthers owner David Tepper will have considerable say in the franchise’s quarterback moving forward, as I could see him liking Joe Burrow’s borderline-cocky personality. It’s unlikely that Rhule would want to start his tenure by parting with a bunch of draft picks to trade up for a quarterback that most would say isn’t a once-in-a-generation surefire franchise-changer like Andrew Luck, but don’t discount an owner-driven move, with Joe Brady’s presence at offensive coordinator pushing a huge splash trade over the edge.


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