The Carolina Panthers are on the clock.
The Panthers have traded to acquire the first overall pick in the draft from the Chicago Bears in exchange for Carolina’s No. 9 and No. 61 overall picks in 2023, a first-round pick in 2024, a second-round pick in 2025 and star receiver DJ Moore, two people with knowledge of the deal said Friday.
The people spoke to the Associated Press on condition of anonymity because the trade had not been announced.
The move allows the Panthers to acquire a potential franchise quarterback, the type of player the team has coveted for years, though it’s unclear which quarterback Carolina prefers. The Bears are committed to Justin Fields at quarterback and that gave them leverage to trade.
Carolina can choose from Alabama’s Bryce Young, Ohio State’s CJ Stroud, Kentucky’s Will Levis or Florida’s Anthony Richardson.
The Panthers may not have gotten the quarterback they wanted if they had stayed at No. 9.
“Go find the guy you want, you know,” Panthers general manager Scott Fitterer said last week at the scouting combine about the possibility of trading for a quarterback. “If you have a conviction on a guy, go find him. It’s pretty simple that way. If you don’t know it and you are going to give all these resources to go up and get it, in the long run you are hurting your team. You better be right. You better have conviction if you get promoted. When you do that, you’re all in.”
The Panthers have been looking for stability at quarterback since David Tepper bought the team in 2018.
They’ve tried a number of headlines, including Baker Mayfield, Sam Darnold, Teddy Bridgewater, and even bringing back Cam Newton for a second season. But none of those options have worked, and Carolina hasn’t been in the playoffs since 2017.