The Carolina Panthers just gave Teddy Bridgewater a 3-year, $63 million contract. It's a sizable commitment to a quarterback with a relatively short track record, and an investment that runs totally counter to everything else the team is doing this offseason. Which seems to be a tank job.

The Panthers fell apart last year, dropping eight straight games to close the season after a 5-3 start. They fired Ron Rivera, watched Kyle Allen implode, and quickly gave up on third-rounder Will Grier. And now they're overhauling their defense, if dumping the entire starting roster can be called an overhaul.

Luke Kuechly retired, and that was just the first domino to fall. He's one of eight defensive starters from last season going on their way, either by being cut or otherwise shown the door. Lots of these guys can still play, at least based on the contracts they're signing. Returning starters, all three of them, are in bold.

Pos2019 Starter2020Details
DTGerald McCoyCowboys3 years, $18M
DTVernon ButlerBills2 years, $16M
DEMario AddisonBills3 years, $30M
ILBLuke KuechlyRetired
ILBShaq ThompsonPanthers!
OLBBruce IrvinSeahawksUndisclosed
OLBBrian BurnsPanthers!
CBJames BradberryGiants3 years, $45M
CBRoss CockrellUFA
STre BostonPanthers!
SEric ReidCut

Not all of these departures will prove worth the money they were given. And Carolina will surely put 11 defensive players on the field.

But it looks pretty likely this defense will struggle, giving up lots of yards and points. So Bridgewater, DJ Moore, Curtis Samuel, Christian McCaffrey and new starting tight end Ian Thomas, as a for instance, are going to have to be busy. This team won't be winning any defensive struggles.

--Andy Richardson