The Carolina Panthers are finally doing football business the right way

With Matt Rhule no longer complicating things, the Carolina Panthers are finally making serious football moves in pursuit of progress next season.

It was a long wait. But the Carolina Panthers are finally doing the football business the right way after some serious mismanagement in recent years.

One can point the finger directly at previous head coach Matt Rule. Team owner David Tepper gave him the final say in personnel matters, and reports after his firing indicated that there wasn’t much anyone could do about it.

That significantly held back the Panthers. Fortunately, Rhule is no longer part of the equation, which was especially noticeable this offseason as general manager Scott Fitterer led the charge.

Fitterer is aggressive and has the full support of those around him. There is a clear plan in place – to build a lineup ready for their new rookie quarterback to come in and make an immediate impact.

The last few days of free agency have been fascinating from Carolina’s perspective. There has been plenty of manipulation and dealing by those in power, with key figures retained in some capacity and some outstanding signings at team-friendly prices for good measure.

Von Bell, DeSean Williams, Myles Sanders, Shai Tuttle and Hayden Hurst should improve at their respective positions in 2023. The Panthers also got a solid quarterback mentor in Andy Dalton, who will play an important role behind the scenes to ensure that which and to go Number 1 overall is gaining momentum fast.

It’s night and day from how things have played out in previous years. A more structured, cohesive approach without one man’s stubbornness getting in the way is paying off, which also looks to give the Panthers a little more freedom during the draft after their quarterback comes aboard from the No. 1 pick.

Ruhl was equally inept and incompetent. But to Tepper’s credit, he made amends by hiring head coach Frank Reich and giving him a blank checkbook to put together the best pitching staff imaginable earlier this year.

In turn, that allowed Fitterer to sell the Panthers as an attractive destination. One that is progressive, led by football people with a wealth of experience and ready to fight at the first possible opportunity.

There are still some holes to fill. Especially when it comes to wide receiver, cornerback, linebacker and offensive line depth. But the Panthers are off to a good start, and Fitterer deserves a huge amount of credit for his work thus far.

While there’s every chance Ruhl will thrive at Nebraska, his meddling methods and bossy personality aren’t missed in the slightest. People are starting to take the Panthers seriously again, and the majority of fans genuinely believe that something special is happening right before their eyes.

Fitterer was a man under pressure heading into the offseason. However, these early moves indicate that the Panthers are finally in safe hands from a personnel standpoint.

There is real confidence in the franchise. Every opinion counts, and the deep connections of Carolina’s stellar coaching staff also help a lot, as expected.

All of that could change if the Panthers don’t get their franchise quarterback by making the wrong call. Something that could also make or break Fitterer’s own job prospects down the road.

So far, so good for the Panthers. And long may it last.

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