The Facts: There was a report that teams were calling the Panthers about trading for Samuel during the draft, but Carolina didn’t make a deal involving the 2017 second-round pick. It doesn’t sound like they’re going to shift gears on that front before the start of the regular season if OC Joe Brady has anything to say about it. The Panthers have D.J. Moore and Robby Anderson at wideout and Christian McCaffrey is the centerpiece of the offense, but Brady said at a Thursday press conference that Samuel is an essential piece of the puzzle. “Curtis is going to be critical to success,” Brady said.
Diehards Line:The coach continued: “I say that, I wish I could have had an opportunity to be out at practices and whatnot, and Curtis is the one that I can’t wait to see him do what he does on the field. Curtis is a playmaker. He fits the mold of what we’re looking for in this type of offense, a guy that you can utilize all around the field and get the ball in the hands and good things happen. I think you saw stuff last year that shows that he can be a big-play wide receiver, down the field. We’re getting the ball in space and I’m excited for him to take the next leap. And I know that he wants that. ..." Samuel had 54 catches for 627 yards and six touchdowns last season and added another score on one of his 19 rushing attempts.