Panthers Fire Head Coach Matt Rhule, Which Could Have All Sorts of Football Ramifications

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Panthers Fire Head Coach Matt Rhule, Which Could Have All Sorts of Football Ramifications

Chicago Bears

Matt Rhule’s time as the Carolina Panthers head coach is OVAH.

The Panthers fired Rhule on Monday after the team’s latest defeat at the hands of the San Francisco 49ers. Rhule’s firing comes after just 38 games into a seven-year, $62 million contract. He leaves the NFL with an 11-27 record (.289 winning percentage) with four years and about $40 million left on the deal.

At least we’ll always have this to remember the Rhule era by:

Perhaps more important than that, Rhule’s dismissal creates a trickle-down effect that could impact all sorts of football circles. Because not only does it open up a pro job opening for a team projecting to land a premier pick in next year’s NFL Draft, Rhule’s availability figures to put him in play for any number of college football jobs. In other words, the next hiring cycle will be a doozy on multiple fronts. But we can cross that bridge when we get to it.

For now, Rhule’s firing could be the first step in some major house-cleaning in Carolina:

This is where the Bears could leverage another team’s rebuilding to pick up some players that could help their own efforts.

Wide receiver DJ Moore will be at the top of every team’s wish list — not just a theoretical Bears one. Moore, 25, has put up three consecutive years with 1,100+ receiving yards. And while a 17-catch, 197-yard, 1 TD start over the first five games puts Moore on pace for just 58 catches, 670 yards, and 3 touchdowns, he is still a player whose future still has upside. But why would he make it onto the market in the first place? Moore signed a three-year extension worth $61.88 million earlier in 2022. It is possible that Carolina would want to move that contract off the books for draft picks. Just something to keep in mind.

A more realistic target might be Robbie Anderson. The 29-year-old had a 1,096-yard receiving season in 2020, but has just 66 catches and 725 receiving yards in 22 games since. A soon-to-be-30-year-old coming off two decline years isn’t ideal. However, Anderson might be able to be had for a discount — especially when compared to what Moore might cost. Anderson has just one more year left on his contract after this one. And while it comes with a $21.719M cap number, the Bears are the kind of team that could offer up a late-round pick to bite the bullet for a short-term bridge option at the position. To be clear, the Bears should target Anderson only if he comes at a discounted price. We could debate how much of an upgrade Anderson could provide, but anything is better than nothing.

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Author: Luis Medina

Luis Medina is a Writer at Bleacher Nation, and you can find him on Twitter at@lcm1986.