Matt Corral’s rookie season with the Carolina Panthers ended before it started.
Corral’s window to potentially vie for a shot at being the club’s quarterback of the future seemingly slammed shut in the process.
Nonetheless, Corral is not looking to get out of Charlotte.
“If it was up to me, I don’t want to get traded,” Corral said Monday following the first day of organized team activities, via The Associated Press. “I love the people here, I love the people that I’m around. I wanna play for (head coach Frank) Reich. I really like the coaches that we have around us.”
The Panthers spent the 2023 NFL Draft’s No. 1 pick on quarterback Bryce Young and veteran Andy Dalton is slotted as QB1 for the time being. Thus, Corral might well need to fight for a spot on the roster despite having been taken in the third round of the 2022 draft.
Ahead of the 2022 draft, the Panthers were in need of a quarterback. They passed on trading for a veteran and then traded up with the New England Patriots to take Corral. Carolina later added Baker Mayfield and Corral’s first season concluded when he suffered a Lisfranc injury during preseason action.
“It was a rough year,” Corral said, via the Charlotte Observer. “A long one.”
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While Corral’s hopes of staying put could seem a bit surprising given the Panthers’ QB room, they’re a bit more head-scratching in the aftermath of a cryptic social media post during the 2023 draft.
The message read: “Then the father said: I wanted to let you know that you are not worth anything if you are not in the right place. If you are not appreciated, do not be angry. That means you are in the wrong place. Don’t stay in a place where no one sees your value.”
Corral said Monday that the post was not about Carolina selecting Young.
Though general manager Scott Fitterer remains with the Panthers, their head coach was Matt Rhule when Corral was drafted. However, Reich has spoken with Corral and urged him to work hard and be ready to jump if his opportunity presents itself.
“Matt’s got a great attitude about it,” Reich said, via the AP. “His perspective is what it needs to be. And you know, my only two cents that I would say would be, you’ve got to play the long game; it’s a long season, it’s a long career. Just do the next right thing, get better every day, work hard out of practice, learn this offense, execute, and be a good teammate; you can play in this league a long time. … Be ready when your opportunity comes and make the most of it.”
Judging by his comments Monday, Corral’s focus appears to be on doing just that.
Things have hardly fallen into place for the Ole Miss product, but Corral’s not ready to thrown in the towel on making his time in Charlotte work.
“It’s all about controlling what you can control,” Corral said, per the AP. “And honestly, that’s what’s made me happy. Getting another opportunity to be here and play for the Carolina Panthers, I’m blessed. I’m in it for the long haul. When that opportunity comes, I’ll be ready.”
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