Panthers surprising CJ Stroud admission throws Bryce Young under the bus

Carolina Panthers owner David Tepper admitted the team expected to trade up to No. 2 and select CJ Stroud rather than Bryce Young in the 2023 NFL Draft.

Houston Texans v Carolina Panthers
Houston Texans v Carolina Panthers / Grant Halverson/GettyImages

The Carolina Panthers are a dumpster fire. After a seven-point loss to the Tennessee Titans on Sunday, owner David Tepper reportedly lost it, yelling expletives and firing head coach Frank Reich just a day later. Reich is the second head coach Tepper has fired in the last two years.

To make matters even worse, the Panthers owner just threw his rookie quarterback under the bus. For reasons I'll never quite understand, Tepper admitted that at one point in time Carolina expected to trade up for the No. 2 pick and take CJ Stroud, who is in line to win Offensive Rookie of the Year.

Tepper was emphatic that the Panthers remain confident in that pick, but by comparing the Alabama product to Stroud in the first place -- and insinuating that there's an alternate reality where Stroud is in Carolina -- it puts a negative light on Young.

Panthers remain confident in Bryce Young, but this has to sting

While I applaud Tepper's openness regarding the draft process, but admitting the organization assumed Stroud would be the pick at No. 2 at one point in time, he is unnecessarily comparing the two players. Tepper went on to reiterate that he and everyone in the Panthers building feels confident in the pick.

The Panthers have gone through six head coaches (three interim) since Tepper bought the team. There will likely be a seventh hired this offseason. The promise of Young is one of the few reasons why any offensive-minded coach would be open to leading the Panthers. Job security clearly is not available in Carolina.

By firing Reich -- who was brought in primarily to help groom a young quarterback -- midway through Young's first season, the Panthers are taking a massive risk. Yes, perhaps Reich was hurting Young's development. On the other hand, Carolina's lack of patience could force far too much responsibility on the young face of the franchise too early, as he'll have to learn another playbook next summer.