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#pounditFriday, January 22, 2021

Panthers have interest in Justin Herbert?

Justin Herbert

The Carolina Panthers will eventually have to decide whether or not they want Cam Newton to remain their starting quarterback in 2020, and their interest in one of the top quarterback prospects in the draft may be a hint about how they plan to move forward.

Panthers general manager Marty Hurney attended Oregon’s Pro Day on Thursday, and Andrew Groover of NFL Network noted that Hurney was the only NFL GM present. Hurney was seen speaking with Justin Herbert after the star quarterback finished throwing passes.

On a day where NFL teams were encouraging scouts and staff members to avoid travel due to the coronavirus outbreak, it is certainly significant that Hurney went through with attending Oregon’s Pro Day. Perhaps he simply did not want to alter his travel plans, but there’s also a chance he was determined to watch Herbert throw. Hurney also could have been scouting other Ducks players.

The Panthers currently have the No. 7 overall pick in the draft, and many believe new head coach Matt Rhule will want to start fresh at quarterback by drafting and developing a player. Carolina should be in a position to draft Herbert if they want him.

Newton’s future depends upon when — and if — he is fully recovered from the foot injury that cost him the majority of the 2019 season. We’ve already heard him linked to more than one team if the Panthers decide to trade him, but there’s no guarantee they will go that route. Rhule has said he is excited to work with Newton. Maybe he’s telling the truth.

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