Carolina Panthers: TE Austin Hooper (Atlanta Falcons)
From 2013-15, Ron Rivera’s Carolina Panthers owned a combined 34-13-1 record, won three consecutive NFC South titles and in the final year of that stretch reached Super Bowl 50. Since then, the franchise has missed the postseason three times in four years and owns a combined 29-35 win-loss ledger. Rivera was dismissed last season with four games to go and now the new man in charge in Charlotte is Matt Rhule.
The former head coach of the Baylor Bears has made it known that he’s looking forward to working with veteran quarterback Cam Newton. There was talk this offseason that the nine-year signal-caller may wind up elsewhere with the change of head coach but that apparently isn’t the case. To recap, the 2015 NFL MVP was hampered by a shoulder injury the second half of 2018 and played in only the first two games this past season due to a foot issue.
Of course, no longer with the club are retired middle linebacker Luke Kuechly and veteran tight end Greg Olsen, the latter let go by the Panthers and now a member of the Seattle Seahawks. Standout tight end Austin Hooper – coming off a career year with 75 catches (6 touchdowns) – would make for an excellent addition. And his departure from Atlanta would certainly affect the rival Falcons as well.
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