Hurney: Panthers' No. 1 need is at quarterback

In news that might not be great for Jimmy Clausen, Carolina Panthers general manager Marty Hurney has declared quarterback the team’s No. 1 need this offseason.

It doesn’t come as a surprise. Clausen, a second-round draft pick last year, is a developmental player. He could pan out but there are no assurances and there certainly isn’t an investment in Clausen that ties the organization and the new coaching staff to him.

Of course, the Panthers are dealing with the sting of Andrew Luck deciding to return to Stanford for one more season. There doesn’t appear to be another passer worthy of the No. 1 overall pick at this point.

“That's the No.1 need," Hurney told Joe Person of the Charlotte Observer. "I think we have good players. It all starts with solidifying that spot. That's something that everybody in the league would agree with.

"We have to put ourselves in a position that we have competition, and do whatever we can to help our chances in the offseason of having consistent play out of that position. But Jimmy's going to grow, just like any young quarterback. We feel like he's got the tools to be able to succeed in this league. Tony Pike's going to get more work."

Hurney didn’t rule out selecting a quarterback with the top pick, but he’s not going to rule out anything at this point. Clausen was 1-9 as a starter and really struggled. But finding a top replacement isn’t going to be easy and the Panthers have to hit with the top pick.

"I think when you're picking high, it needs to be an impact position and an impact player," Hurney said.

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Brad Biggs covers the Bears for the Chicago Tribune

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