The NFL Preseason and cuts are finally behind us, and now teams are prepping for their Week 1 matchups. But first, general managers around the league are holding press conferences to talk about their final rosters and the decisions that went into who stays and who went.
In Charlotte, Panthers’ GM Marty Hurney discussed the makeup of the team. One important subject was that of who was going to be Cam Newton’s backup.
Newton appeared in one game during the Preseason, and that was only for a few plays. That left Kyle Allen, Taylor Heinicke, and WVU rookie Will Grier to share the rest of the snaps.
Allen played ahead of Grier in all four games, so it’s no surprise that Allen is listed above Grier on the depth chart going into the opener.
But that doesn’t mean that the team isn’t high on their second round draft pick from this year. Quite the opposite in fact.
I think you want to give Will some time. I think Will’s going to be very, very good. But the jump your rookie year takes time. People don’t understand, especially coming from college’s offenses to the pros. He’s shown a lot to us that we think he’s going to be a very good quarterback, but I think we made the decision to keep Kyle Allen as our second.”
Grier had his best game in the last game of the preseason, throwing for 189 yards and a TD.
We likely won’t see much of (or any) of Grier this season (or next). If we do, that means that things aren’t going well for Carolina.
What will happen is that Grier will learn, practice, and develop in the interim.
This goes to my theory on the Panthers drafting of Grier at this time.
Cam Newton just turned 30 and has two years remaining on his contract. He has been slowed by injuries since his MVP season two years ago.
If that decline continues and Grier grows like the team hopes, then they might decide in the spring of 2021 to move on from Newton and hand the reins over to the WVU product who grew up 30 minutes north of Bank of America Stadium.