LA Chargers: Getting to know the Week 3 opponent, the Carolina Panthers

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(Photo by Abbie Parr/Getty Images) – LA Chagrers
(Photo by Abbie Parr/Getty Images) – LA Chagrers /

Carolina Panthers’ offseason departures

The Panthers lost quite a few of their best defensive players this past offseason, which was a big reason for their strategy in the draft. Offensively, the Panthers did not lose too many players but did lose two key pieces to their 2015 roster who made the Super Bowl.

The Panthers cut Cam Newton who agreed to a one-year deal with the New England Patriots and tight end Greg Olsen signed with the Seattle Seahawks.

As mentioned earlier, Pro Bowl guard Trai Turner was traded to the LA Chargers for tackle Russell Okung, which might seem like a downgrade, but this move helps solidify their blindside with a veteran tackle.

Guard Greg Van Roten signed a three-year deal with the New York Jets, along with wide receiver Chris Hogan. They also lost guard Daryl Williams to the Bills and did not pick up Jarius Wright’s option.

Defensively, the Panthers did not bring back safeties Colin Jones and Eric Reid who are currently free agents. They lost their star cornerback James Bradberry, who signed with the New York Giants on a three-year $43.5 million contract. Other cornerbacks Ross Cockrell and Javien Elliot were also not brought back and are free agents.

The Panthers did lose quite a few pieces to their front seven as Mario Addison and Vernon Butler Jr. both signed deals with the Buffalo Bills. Gerald McCoy signed with the Dallas Cowboys but was released with an injury waiver and will miss the 2020 season.

Defensive tackle Dontari Poe also signed with the Cowboys. Linebacker Bruce Irvin went back to the Seattle Seahawks but will also miss the season with a torn ACL. Former All-Pro linebacker Luke Kuechly retired this offseason.

By deciding to not retain these players, the Panthers were able to go out in free agency and sign their new franchise quarterback in Bridgewater and give him a deep treat in Anderson. The Panthers opted to go much younger at multiple positions.

Even though Cam Newton is having success with the Patriots to start this NFL season, the Panthers hope Bridgewater can help get them back into playoff contention after Newton only played in two games last season.