The Panthers shopped almost exclusively for bargains in free agency last year, but Carolina will look to spend big money on these five players in 2021.
Matt Rhule and Carolina’s front office made a concerted effort to go with youth heading into the 2020 season. Predictably, that prevented the Panthers from reaching the postseason in Rhule’s first season. The team will look to spend considerable money in free agency this year to help supplement the team’s young core.
The key for new general manager Scott Fitterer will be to spend the team’s cap space on the right positions. The roster still is littered with high-profile needs. It will be challenging for Carolina to fill all their needs in a single offseason. April’s draft will be the organization’s primary focus, but free agency will be crucial as well. Panthers fans should keep a close eye on the following five players when the NFL bidding frenzy begins.
5. Shaquill Griffin
The Panthers have a clear need to overhaul their secondary. Cornerback was a revolving door of mediocrity for Rhule. Donte Jackson showed flashes of fulfilling his potential, but toe issues caused him to go in and out of the lineup all year long. Rasul Douglas played decent football as the other starter after being snatched off the scrap heap after the Eagles released him.
The Panthers arguably need to find two starting corners this offseason. It makes sense for one of them to be a free agent. Griffin is a young veteran who has starting experience but still fits the team’s timeline for contention. The Seahawks will struggle to retain both Griffin and Quinton Dunbar in free agency. Carolina should make a sizable bid to make sure Griffin doesn’t return to the Pacific Northwest.