Patriots Could Target These Panthers Players Following Matt Rhule Firing

Could the Patriots take advantage of the Panthers' current situation?


Oct 10, 2022

The Carolina Panthers are in a state of transition. Could the New England Patriots be primed to take advantage?

The Panthers became the first team in the NFL this season to fire their head coach, relieving Matt Rhule of his duties Monday afternoon. The Patriots are already primed to reap the benefits of that move, as they own Carolina’s third- and sixth-round picks in the 2023 draft, but they are also in a position to work with the Panthers on a potential fire sale.

Given where the Panthers stand at this point in the season (1-4 record, two injured quarterbacks and three fired coaches), it could be in their best interest to unload assets in an effort to build toward the future.

Here are a few of those assets the Patriots could be interested in acquiring:

DT Derrick Brown
Adding a former first-round defensive tackle just sounds like something the Patriots would do.

Though New England’s current interior defensive line group (Lawrence Guy, Davon Godchaux, Christian Barmore, Carl Davis, Daniel Ekuale, Sam Roberts) looks deep on paper, there is a lack of versatility. Guy, Godchaux and Davis are run first players, Barmore and Ekuale excel against the pass. Roberts is essentially a project. Swapping out one, or maybe two, of those players for the dynamic Brown moving forward shouldn’t be scoffed at. The 24-year-old only plays about half of Carolina’s defensive snaps and his fifth-year option will be decided upon this offseason, but for now, he is due only $1.25 million this season, per Over The Cap. He’d certainly be worthy of a flyer if that’s all it would take.

LB Shaq Thompson
Once a draft pick of the Boston Red Sox, Thompson has turned himself into quite the linebacker.

An undoubted leader in the middle, Thompson has become a three-down linebacker for the Panthers and would provide an immediate upgrade in the middle of the Patriots defense. Thompson is due just $1.12 million this season due to an offseason restructure, and likely won’t factor into Carolina’s future plans at 28 years old. As an off-ball linebacker he wouldn’t cost much either.

LB Frankie Luvu
Everything that was just said about Thompson goes double for Luvu.

Arriving to Carolina as a core special teamer, Luvu has quickly become a difference maker on the defensive side of the ball. He’s young, athletic and wouldn’t cost very much to acquire. His $1.5 million cap hit would fit in just about anywhere.

WR D.J. Moore
You want to get nuts? Let’s get nuts.

There are two factors that need to be looked at when discussing a potential blockbuster trade: fit and cost. Moore fits in both of those categories. The 25-year-old is due just over $1 million this season, meaning he would fit into the salary cap. He’s also a better player than just about every wideout New England currently rosters. Stuck with mediocre quarterbacks throughout his entire career, Moore has consistently been a 1,000-yard receiver and could help transform the Patriots offense into something a bit more explosive than what it’s been.

Thumbnail photo via Jim Dedmon/USA TODAY Sports Images
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