(Photo by Justin Casterline/Getty Images)
The Carolina Panthers made a big splash on Friday by trading four draft picks and wide receiver D.J. Moore to the Chicago Bears for the top selection in next month’s NFL Draft.
After a season in which they cycled through three subpar starting quarterbacks, they’re now positioned to draft someone such as Bryce Young or C.J. Stroud who could very well be their franchise signal-caller for many years to come.
One may think Carolina seriously depleted its cupboard of draft picks in order to do so, but Tom Pelissero pointed out that they will have a second-round pick this year.
The #Panthers paid a big price to jump from No. 9 to No. 1, but worth noting: They still have a second-round pick (No. 39) this year, and they didn’t have to give up their first-rounder in 2025. The Christian McCaffrey trade provided flexibility. Now they can go get their QB.
— Tom Pelissero (@TomPelissero) March 10, 2023
The saving grace was the Christian McCaffrey trade in October, which netted the team four draft picks, including a second-rounder and third-rounder this year, from the San Francisco 49ers.
Losing Moore will hurt, as he has been a productive wide receiver over the last few years, but the Panthers aren’t exactly trying to win now.
They won just seven games in 2022 and made some notable changes, including trading McCaffrey and replacing head coach Matt Rhule with Frank Reich.
Had Young or Stroud been drafted by the Bears, he would’ve been playing for a franchise that has been starving for success for decades while playing in one of the nation’s largest markets.
Instead, whoever the Panthers take with that first overall pick will have the luxury of being able to develop and grow at his own pace.
Friday’s trade looks like it could very well be one of those uncommon trades that helps both teams moving forward.
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