The Carolina Panthers may not be competing for the Super Bowl this season, but there are a few teams in the playoffs that have players and staff who have Charlotte ties.
Here are some players/coaches you can root for this postseason:
San Francisco 49ers – running back Christian McCaffery
McCaffery was the Panthers franchise player a year ago today. Now, he is a complementary offensive weapon on a San Francisco 49ers team with legit Super Bowl aspirations.
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Since being drafted by the Panthers in 2017, the 26-year-old running back has only played in one playoff game.The lack of postseason appearances paired with McCaffery’s injury history made things worse for both sides.
McCaffery never complained publicly, but in the best interest of both sides, Carolina traded him to the Bay area in October.
The deal gave McCaffrey a shot at winning a ring, and put the Panthers in better position – with four draft picks – to move into the future.
Philadelphia Eagles – defensive linemen Jordan Davis
Davis attended Mallard Creek High before attending the University of Georgia in 2018.
He helped lead the team to a national championship in his senior year before entering the 2022 NFL draft where he was selected by the Eagles in the first round.
The rookie has seen limited snaps this season behind an Eagles defensive line that boasts multiple Pro Bowlers.
He has the opportunity to learn from the best and get another championship ring in the process.
New York Giants – quarterback Daniel Jones
The Charlotte native attended Charlotte Latin School before walking on at Duke University in 2015.
After an impressive career in Durham, he was drafted in the first round of the 2019 NFL draft.
He’s had a rough first three years, but a new coach has revitalized the 25-year-old quarterback’s career.
Jones is statistically having the best season of his career with 3,205 passing yards and a 67.2 completion percentage, leading the Giants to the playoffs for the first time since 2016.
In his own postseason debut, he had an impressive playoff debut with over 300 passing yards and two touchdowns.
He’ll be a free agent this offseason. If he can lead the G-Men to a deep run, he’ll increase his price tag.
Both McDermott and Dorsey were on the Panthers coaching staff during the team’s 2015 Super Bowl run.
McDermott was the defensive coordinator of the Carolina Panthers from 2011 to 2016. Following his six seasons with the Panthers, he was hired in 2017 as the Bills’ head coach.
Under his leadership, the Bills have been championship contenders in AFC the past three seasons.
Dorsey served as the team’s quarterbacks coach from 2013 to 2017 and was involved in some of the best years of Cam Newton’s career.
He followed McDermott to Buffalo and served in numerous roles before becoming offensive coordinator this season. He is currently having similar success with MVP candidate Josh Allen, orchestrating one of the league’s best offenses.
Interestingly, Dorsey is interviewing for the Panther’s head coaching job on Saturday, Peter Schrager of NFL Media reports.
- Cowboys quarterback Will Grier (former Panther, 2019-2021)
- Philadelphia linebacker Hassan Reddick (former Panther in 2021)
- Philadelphia defensive back James Bradberry (former Panther, 2016-2019)
- Jacksonville Jaguars tight end Dan Arnold (former Panther in 2021)
- Kansas City Chiefs kicker Harrison Butker (former Panther in 2017)