Free agent wide receiver Curtis Samuel is expected to sign a three-year, $34.5 million deal with the Washington Football Team, per Adam Schefter of ESPN.
This was an expected move as the Panthers have several areas on their roster that need to be addressed and only so much cap room to work with this offseason.
When you have receivers like DJ Moore and Robby Anderson on your roster, you would think that it would be rather challenging for a third wide receiver to shine. For Curtis Samuel, that was not the case.
Although he did not go over 1,000 yards receiving as those two did, he did obtain over 1,000 scrimmage yards thanks to his versatility and earning some snaps at running back. During training camp, Matt Rhule and his offensive assistants toyed with the idea of using Samuel in the backfield. Once Christian McCaffrey went down, the Panthers lacked explosiveness out of the backfield and it was a no-brainer to start giving Samuel a few carries per game. He finished the year with 200 yards and two touchdowns on 41 carries.
At his regular position, Samuel thrived and quickly emerged as Teddy Bridgewater’s favorite target on 3rd downs and in clutch situations. Everyone knew where the ball was going, yet no one could stop him. Samuel’s quickness off the ball helps him gain separation early in the play, allowing him to find space in the open field. With that said, Samuel is not just a speedy receiver that does all of his damage in space. He is a tough, physical receiver that plays bigger than his size would indicate which helps him make contested catches. The biggest question mark he had coming into the season was whether or not he could become more reliable. In the first three years of his career, Samuel had trouble with drops but he cleaned that up in a major way in 2020. As a matter of fact, Samuel finished No. 1 in catch percentage (79.4%) with those who had 40 or more targets on the year.
Samuel will now head off to the nation’s capital to reunite with former Panthers head coach Ron Rivera and former Ohio State teammate, WR Terry McLaurin.
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