When all the dust is settled, and the NFL lockout is behind us, the Carolina Panthers have several questions that will have to be answered.
Perhaps the biggest of those is who begins the season as the Panthers’ starting quarterback.
First overall draft pick Cam Newton has been working out in Florida at IMG’s facility under the direction of former Panthers QB Chris Weinke, working on learning the Panthers’ new playbook and getting acclimated to taking snaps under center.
Last year’s second round pick, Jimmy Clausen is working out, too, preparing to be the Panthers’ starter.
Did Clausen’s nightmare season last year propertly prepare him to lead the Panthers under their new regime, or did it set him back?
And are the Panthers settled with Clausen, Newton and Tony Pike going forward as their quarterback corps? Some have speculated that the Panthers will bring in a veteran to help ease both Clausen and Newton’s transition into the NFL. With the lack of quality quarterbacks that will be available and the money that will already be tied up in Clausen and Newton, one would think the Panthers wouldn’t have much of a choice to start one of the two.
The longshot here is Matt Moore, who lost most of last season with a torn labrum in his throwing shoulder. He started the season for the Panthers, but the offense was stagnant under his reign before his injury. Still, he’s shone brightly before, and has had more good games as a Panther than bad. Is that enough to bring him back and give him a shot under the new regime?
Newton is the wildcard. He’s obviously the future for the Panthers, and he’s been working hard this offseason learning the playbook, but he has no game experience in the NFL and is still very raw.
He will most certainly get an opportunity to play at some point in the season. Just how much might be up to Jimmy Clausen or Matt Moore.