Panthers Trade Rumors: CAR Targeting Deal for OL Help After Gilmore, Henderson Moves

Erin WalshOctober 12, 2021

CHARLOTTE, NC - OCTOBER 10: Philadelphia Eagles defensive tackle Javon Hargrave (97) hurries Carolina Panthers quarterback Sam Darnold (14) during the game between the Carolina Panthers and the Philadelphia Eagles on October 10, 2021 at Bank of America Stadium in Charlotte, NC. (Photo by Andy Lewis/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)
Andy Lewis/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

The Carolina Panthers are reportedly not done making moves before next month's trade deadline. 

The Panthers are searching for offensive line depth, which they've "all but advertised publicly," according to ESPN's Jeremy Fowler. However, the problem, as Fowler notes, is that teams aren't willing to give up offensive linemen as depth is "coveted leaguewide."

"It was telling in the preseason when the Giants and the New England Patriots gave up late-round draft picks for backups such as Billy Price, Ben Bredeson and Yasir Durant," Fowler writes. 

Carolina's offensive line remains a weak spot on the roster. Quarterback Sam Darnold was sacked three times, hit eight times and tossed three interceptions under pressure in a 21-18 loss to the Philadelphia Eagles on Sunday. The O-line also was flagged for three holding calls against the Eagles.

After Sunday's loss, Panthers head coach Matt Rhule made it clear that the offensive line needs to play much better, saying, "That was not good enough up front. So we've got to coach it better, play better, help them in different ways. . . . We have to play way better up front."

Darnold has been sacked 14 times this season, which trails only Tennessee Titans signal-caller Ryan Tannehill, New York Jets rookie Zach Wilson and Las Vegas Raiders veteran Derek Carr. He has also been hit 35 times, fourth-most in the NFL. 

It's not necessarily surprising that Carolina's offensive line is struggling. The Panthers have not used a first-round pick on an offensive lineman since 2008 when they selected Jeff Otah. The franchise has also only taken three O-linemen in the second round since then. 

The Panthers are second in the NFC South with a 3-2 record despite their offensive-line struggles. If they hope to compete for a playoff spot, it'll be crucial they add some O-line help in the coming weeks.  


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