Panthers general manager Scott Fitterer has made 13 trades since taking on the role in January (via Scott Fowler of the Charlotte Observer). If the GM has his way, his 14th trade will address the team’s offensive line issues. Fitterer told reporters that he’s called around about OL trades but hasn’t found a taker, noting that teams aren’t even willing to consider dealing their backups (via The Athletic’s Joe Person on Twitter).
“I mean, it’s not like there are offensive linemen available,” the executive said (via Fowler). “I think every team’s in the same situation we are. … There’s just not a lot of offensive linemen on the market right now. No one’s letting them out (the door) — even their backups.”
Quarterback Sam Darnold was hit 11 times and sacked five times during Sunday’s loss to the Cowboys. If the Panthers have playoff aspirations, they’ll need to keep their starting QB healthy, and reinforcing the offensive line would certainly help.
As Darin Gantt of the team’s website points out, the Panthers were forced to play a pair of injured OLs (left tackle Cameron Erving (knee) and right guard John Miller (shoulder)) on Sunday. While some acquisitions would certainly help, head coach Matt Rhule seemed to indicate that improved health could solve the offensive line’s issues.
“I think a lot of it comes down to who’s healthy when we get to Wednesday,” Rhule said (via Gantt). “Those guys, while it’s not always perfect, they’re playing hard for us while they’ve been banged up. I appreciate the way they’re playing. We’ll see what we do moving forward this week, see who’s healthy, see who’s available, and take full stock of where we are.”
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