The Panthers cleared the way for new quarterback Sam Darnold to work without any kind of cloud over his head or doubt about his status, trading incumbent starting quarterback Teddy Bridgewater to the Broncos for a 2021 sixth-round pick.
Dealing Bridgewater was likely inevitable once the Panthers traded three picks (including a second- and fourth-rounder next year) for the 23-year-old Darnold earlier this month.
Bridgewater, 28, started 15 games for the Panthers last year, missing one with a knee injury.
He threw for 3,733 yards in 2020, and his 69.1 completion percentage ranked fifth in the league among regular starters. But he had just 15 touchdowns on the season, and faltered late in some games.