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Respected NFL insider names Carolina Panthers as the ‘worst run franchise’ in pro football

Carolina Panthers
Credit: Jim Dedmon-USA TODAY Sports

It’s pretty rare for a team to end up with the first overall pick the first year after selecting their franchise quarterback, but that’s the boat the Carolina Panthers would have been in had they not traded the top selection in the 2024 NFL Draft to the Chicago Bears.

Of course, in hindsight, maybe it would have been better for the Panthers to hold onto their first-round pick, where they’d be able to draft Caleb Williams instead of Bryce Young. After all, the USC QB is considered to be a better prospect than the former Alabama QB.

But we don’t have time machines, and judging by their recent lack of success, neither do David Tepper or the Carolina Panthers.

Tepper took over team ownership in July of 2018, a year after the Panthers reached the playoffs with an 11-5 record. They haven’t come close to competing since, with their most wins topping out at seven, accomplished in 2018 and 2022. The Panthers have gone just 31-68 since Tepper took over, a win percentage of just 31.3%, not nearly good enough to compete, even in the woeful NFC South.

So when Sports Illustrated’s Albert Breer was recently asked which organization is the worst-run franchise in the NFL, it came as no surprise to see him name the Carolina Panthers.

“I think right now, based on the past five years or so, it’d have to be the Carolina Panthers. They’ve been among the 10 worst teams in the league the past five consecutive years. They fired three coaches, all in-season, over that stretch. They’ve traded their three best players of that period—Christian McCaffrey, DJ Moore and Brian Burns—and gone through significant turnover in the front office. And the constant there is owner David Tepper, who went 7–9 his first year, 2018, and has failed to match even that since.”

Albert Breer on Carolina Panthers being NFL’s worst-run franchise

Fans of the Panthers have had to bear witness to seeing other teams keep pounding Carolina’s football team into submission for far too long. However, after spending well over $100 million on incoming free agents, there’s hope that coach Dave Canales can lead a quick turnaround, and the 2024 NFL Draft should inject a bit more talent onto the roster, despite not having a first-round pick.

Related: 2024 NFL mock draft: Projecting Drake Maye, J.J. McCarthy, and Michael Penix Jr.’s NFL landing spots

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