Carolina Panthers: Will Jimmy Clausen Ever Play Another Down in Carolina?

Brian MurtaughAnalyst IJune 27, 2011

PITTSBURGH - DECEMBER 23:  Jimmy Clausen #2 of the Carolina Panthers calls a timeout during the game against the Pittsburgh Steelers on December 23, 2010 at Heinz Field in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.  (Photo by Jared Wickerham/Getty Images)
Jared Wickerham/Getty Images

Carolina Panther fans have endured some tremendous hardships since their team's trips to the postseason have diminished. Jimmy Clausen was supposed to reverse those fortunes in 2010-11 as the Panthers spent their second-round selection on the former Notre Dame standout and proclaimed quarterback of the future. However, Clausen's surge to the top of the NFL was simply not in the cards during the 2010 season as the rookie seemed lost during his 1-9 performance as the starting quarterback.

Fast-forward to the 2011 offseason and the Panthers organization looks slightly different. Carolina spent the number one overall selection on Cam Newton and new head coach, Ron Rivera, will be looking to put his mark on a franchise that needs a new direction.

So where does that put Jimmy Clausen?

Clausen was considered a slight gamble during the 2010 NFL Draft as experts from around the league questioned his leadership ability and attitude towards the game. Clausen was even passed on by several teams that were desperately searching for help at the quarterback position.

Newton enters the Panthers organization as a BCS National Championship quarterback and a winner in all aspects of the game. Carolina as an organization and the Panthers' fanbase are both intrigued by Newton's accomplishments at the college level and would both like to forget the hardships of the last two seasons.

Not to mention the fact that the Panthers have two other capable quarterbacks on the active roster.

The reasonable thought at this point process is that Clausen's days are numbered in the Panthers organization. Carolina may still be a few pieces away from competing on a consistent basis and fans are anxious to see the abilities of their Heisman Trophy winning quarterback.

Only time will tell the future of Clausen in Carolina. However, if Clausen does get another chance, he better take advantage because it may be the last of his career.