Matt Rhule: Sam Darnold trade frees us up to take best player available at No. 8

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Last week’s trade between the Panthers and Jets impacted Sam Darnold and Teddy Bridgewater directly, and the fallout from the deal sending Darnold to Carolina will continue to be felt in the first round of the draft.

Before the Darnold trade, the Panthers’ No. 8 pick was seen as a possible landing spot for a quarterback or a potentioal part of a trade package to get one. Now that the team has addressed the position, that outlook is a bit different.

Head coach Matt Rhule didn’t rule out taking a quarterback in the first round or any other time, but said at Monday’s press conference that the trade “frees us up to take best player available” later this month.

“We’ll look at anything and everything,” Rhule said, via ESPN.com. “We recognize maybe there are positions we’d like to address in the draft, either via draft-day trades, post-draft trades or in the draft. I do think with the eighth pick you take the best available player. Now, if two guys are close, you take the guy that fits your need as well.”

Offensive tackle is one area the Panthers may be well positioned to address with the eighth pick, although it is unlikely to be the only one on the table given the flexibility provided by last week’s trade.

8 responses to “Matt Rhule: Sam Darnold trade frees us up to take best player available at No. 8

  1. I had hoped that the Jets kept Darnold and built a team around him. They better hope they get this pick right at QB or they could be set back for years and years.

  2. Never seen a team so desperate to justify their ridiculous offseason moves as much as this guy, that he’d give away his intentions for his Top 10 draft pick. smh…

  3. Sam, even with the uncertainty of things with the Panthers, your career prospects went up exponentially by leaving the Jets. Keep watching them as they once again, hired flavor-of-the-month coach and will once again draft a top qb, without the o-line to keep him upright or the offensive weapons needed to be a success. If that qb is lucky, he may survive long enough to be competent, but more likely he’ll get injured irrevocably before that happens and be unfairly labeled a bust. If that sounds crazy, just look up the career of Chad Pennington. It floored me how after working so hard to rehab from a very serious shoulder injury, he didn’t even last ONE play before he was sacked and reinjured. That line had just one job – protect the franchise qb and couldn’t even do it for one play. It’s crazy how bad they’ve been at team building. The only reason you don’t see more about this is because the only team worse has been epically,
    biblically bad- Cleveland. See how much potential Chad had in the short video below:

    https://youtu.be/f_le_0LqDVM

  4. I am amazed at how many people on this site are so knowledgeable about who will succeed and who will fail. I know their are only 32 GM jobs in the league but some of you should definitely have one of them. WOW!

  5. Darnold entered the nfl at 21 and into a lousy situation with the jets and their wild eyed head coach. He had a rough go of it but he’s only 24 and getting a second chance. He has the talent, and maybe the mental toughness, to succeed this time as long as Carolina puts a decent team around him. So yeah take the best player available

  6. Taking the best player available is the only sensible option, unless you are making a trade. Sam Darnold is not the player you build your franchise around, his acquisition should not be changing anything you do on draft day.

  7. laitaliano says:
    April 13, 2021 at 11:09 am
    Darnold entered the nfl at 21 and into a lousy situation with the jets and their wild eyed head coach. He had a rough go of it but he’s only 24 and getting a second chance. He has the talent, and maybe the mental toughness, to succeed this time as long as Carolina puts a decent team around him. So yeah take the best player available.
    ____________________________________________________________________________________________Not true ,when he was drafted Todd Bowles was the coach and we can blame crazy eyes all day but Sam has never progressed he’s done nothing but regress after his 1st year at USC ,his fumbling and INT’s were an issue then and still are now.
    Crazy eyes was a terrible coach but in (can’t believe I’m defending this buffoon) his defense the Jets had the 2 worst GM’s back to back in NFL history they were horrendous I mean God couldn’t have won with the rosters they put together ,don’t bring up Tannehill either because he was a pro bowl QB and took Fins to the playoffs with Gase unfortunately Tannehill could never stay healthy he’s always been good it’s not the coaching.
    Sam seems like good dude and gives 100% but I’m not sure he’s ever going to be who people thought he was ,I hope so because he’s been in some BAD situations

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