CHARLOTTE, N.C. – New Carolina coach Ron Rivera says the Panthers' decision with the No. 1 overall draft pick will "put a face on the beginning of my career." General manager Marty Hurney talks of sleepless nights because "you know the importance of it."
And while signs point to the Panthers taking Auburn quarterback Cam Newton, the team's brass is holding off announcing a decision as labor uncertainty could perhaps add another twist.
Hurney acknowledged Tuesday the team has not fielded any calls from teams wanting to move up to No. 1. But that could change as Thursday's draft nears and if the lockout remains lifted and current players are allowed to be included in trades.
Coming off a 2-14 season, Hurney talked of the growing importance of quarterbacks in the NFL.