The Panthers made a surprising move late Wednesday afternoon, executing a rare player for player trade. In trading 26 yr old starting right guard Trai Turner, they got Russell Okung, a 31 yr old left tackle on a one-year rental. This confuses things for what we thought was heading toward a rebuild in Carolina. In this situation, I would look for picks more than older players. A rebuild is all about getting younger and acquiring more draft capital, so why did Tepper, Hurney, and Rhule decide to go through with this deal?
One reason might be because Okung's former offensive line coach Pat Meyer is now in the same role with the Carolina Panthers. New coaches often want to look for familiar players who know and will fit into their scheme. Reports have surfaced from Adam Schefter that Pat Meyer was pulling for the Panthers to bring Okung over.
This also may be a signal to Cam Newton that they want to invest in a blind-side blocker for his final year. Cam Newton with an above-average left tackle in Russell Okung could be lethal in 2020 along with CMC, DJ, and Curtis Samuel. Perhaps Matt Rhule and his regime really want to win in his first season at the helm. Even if Cam Newton may not be the starting quarterback beyond 2021, it could be an audition for other teams in need of a great veteran quarterback to push them over the top.
This move is nothing but intriguing for the trio that is Hurney, Tepper, and Rhule. Tepper has said to expect results over time not immediately. However, this move signals the complete opposite. Are the visions of these three people in charge of the Panthers organization really aligned? Or does one need to go?