Skip navigation
Favorites
Sign up to follow your favorites on all your devices.
Sign up

There are plenty of unknowns about the Panthers heading into the 2024 season.

Carolina is coming off a 2-15 season with a first-time head coach, several new acquisitions on both sides of the ball and quarterback Bryce Young hoping to show his rookie struggles were a minor bump on the way to success. Given all of those question marks, one of the surer things in the organization would seem to be wide receiver Adam Thielen.

Thielen is heading into his 11th NFL season and he showed he could still produce in a struggling offense by catching 103 balls last year. That doesn’t mean he is heading into the coming season with a sense that he’s fully proven himself, though.

“I think I talk to the young guys about this all the time, is no matter who you are, no matter how old you are, no matter how many years you’ve been in the league, you have something to prove,” Thielen said, via Darin Gantt of the team’s website. “And you have to have that mindset every single day, whether it’s OTAs when no one’s watching other than the coaches, or on Sundays when 60,000 people are watching, you have to have that same mindset that you’re going to prove that you can play at a high level. And, you know, it doesn’t change no matter how many years. When you’re in years 10, 11, 12, you have to go out there and prove it, right?”

The Panthers are likely confident about what they can expect from Thielen this fall and they can only hope that his approach rubs off on less-experienced players who are hoping to have the same kind of professional success as the wideout.


Adrian Wilson, a former Panthers and Cardinals front office executive, was arrested in early June on domestic violence-related charges, according to a report from TheAthletic.com.

Carolina confirmed over the weekend that Wilson had quietly left the organization. But the Panthers did not comment further on the reason for his departure.

Wilson, 44, was arrested just after 6 a.m. on June 1 and charged with assault, criminal damage, and disorderly conduct, a Scottsdale police spokesperson confirmed to TheAtheltic.com on Tuesday. The charges are misdemeanors and Wilson’s next court date is a management conference on July 16.

The Cardinals selected Wilson in the third round of the 2001 draft and he played for the franchise through the 2012 season. After his playing career ended, he then rejoined Arizona as a regional scout in 2015. He was promoted to director of pro scouting in 2019 and vice president of pro scouting in 2021.

He served as the co-General Manager for Arizona toward the end of the 2022 season.

Carolina then hired Wilson in early 2023 to be the team’s vice president of player personnel.

The report from TheAthletic.com notes the Panthers referred the outlet to the organization’s statement from over the weekend when asked if the club was aware of Wilson’s arrest.


Adrian Wilson is on the move.

The Panthers V.P. of player personnel quietly has left the team. The change first came to our attention because someone noticed that he no longer appears on the team’s web site.

The Panthers have confirmed that Wilson no longer works for the organization.

“Adrian Wilson will not continue in his position as Vice President of Player Personnel for the Carolina Panthers,” a team spokesperson told PFT on Sunday morning. “Consistent with our organizational policy on employee matters, we will have no further comment.”

Wilson took a job with the Panthers just a year ago, in February 2023. It was a homecoming for the High Point, North Carolina, who played college football at N.C. State.

A member of the Cardinals Ring of Honor for his excellence as a safety from 2001 through 2012, Wilson spent four seasons in Arizona as a regional scout, two as director of pro scouting, and two as V.P. of pro scouting. He finished the 2022 season as interim co-General Manager, after the firing of Steve Keim.

Wilson was linked to the G.M. job in Jacksonville in 2022, potentially in partnership with Byron Leftwich as head coach. That never came to fruition.

He becomes yet another short-time employee of Tepper Sports and Entertainment. From David Tepper’s football team to his soccer team, the hinge on the swinging door never has much of a chance to get rusty.


It’s a slow week in the NFL. But a lack of stories doesn’t justify making something out of nothing.

The Twitter bots have tripped over a clip of Panthers chief administrative officer Nicole Tepper, wife of Panthers owner David Tepper, making remarks in the draft room earlier this year.

The clip itself doesn’t reveal much, and not nearly enough to justify the characterization that it’s the “first time we’ve ever seen the owners wife helping make picks.” That hasn’t stopped sites like Athlon Sports from pushing this embarrassing clickbait headline: “Fans in Disbelief Over Video of NFL Owner’s Wife Assisting with Draft Picks.”

Many are questioning the involvement of an owner’s spouse in such crucial decisions, a role traditionally reserved for football operations personnel,” the article explains. (“Many are questioning” means “stray fans who don’t know shit are spouting off on Twitter.”)

Again, watch the clip. She hardly says anything.

The fact that multi-billion-dollar football companies are owned and operated like family-owned food trucks isn’t unique to the Panthers. It’s one of the basic realities that makes every team (other than the Packers) so damn compelling. And, frankly, Nicole Tepper is no less qualified to chime in on football personnel than her husband, whose credentials to own the team come solely from him having enough money to buy it.

The owner of any NFL team (other than the Packers) can do whatever he or she wants when it comes to putting family members to work. If the goal is to keep the team in the family, it becomes critical to involve others who would eventually take over for the person who wrote the check and seized the wheel.

The only alternative is to sell the team when that person can no longer continue. That’s what Ralph Wilson’s family did with the Bills, and that’s what Pat Bowlen’s family eventually had to do with the Broncos.

If Nicole Tepper outlives her husband, she likely will be running the team, like Georgia Frontiere did for decades with the Rams. (Along the way, Frontiere presided over the construction of the Greatest Show on Turf.) So why shouldn’t she be involved now?

Really, what’s more concerning? The owner’s spouse making stray comments in the draft room? Or the owner having a clear record of micromanaging the team, including forcing (by all appearances) Bryce Young on the front office and coaching staff? (Nicole apparently preferred C.J. Stroud. So maybe she should be running the team now.)

Also, we’ve yet to see any videos of Nicole Tepper throwing a drink on a fan and/or removing someone’s hat after she stopped at a local restaurant because the sign out front displayed a message with which she took umbrage.

Here’s the bottom line. Anyone who makes a big deal out of the clip of Nicole Tepper’s comments is exposing their own ignorance as to how things work.

Or maybe they know exactly how things work, but they aren’t about to turn down an opportunity to pander to those who believe women shouldn’t be involved in football in any capacity.


Cam Newton ran for more touchdowns than any other quarterback in NFL history, but he does not consider himself the greatest dual threat ever to play the game.

Asked on the 4th and 1 Show whether he’s the greatest dual threat ever, Newton answered, “No. Lamar Jackson.”

Newton says that what really separates Jackson is his speed, which allows him to break more big plays than Newton did. Newton said his own specialty was power in short yardage situations, but that Jackson and Michael Vick were greater threats with their legs because they were faster.

“Lamar’s style is different than mine,” Newton said. “He’s got big plays any play. He’s got speed that I never had. And he’s just a legend. I played the game more powerful. I can run, but I’m going to probably get caught. Vick, Lamar, they ain’t getting caught.”

Newton retired with 5,628 rushing yards, the second-most for a quarterback in NFL history behind Vick, as well as his record 75 rushing touchdowns. Jackson currently has 5,258 rushing yards and 29 rushing touchdowns. Jackson has a good chance of surpassing Vick’s quarterback record of 6,109 rushing yards this season, but he’s still a long way off from Newton’s record for the most rushing touchdowns.