What free agents could the Panthers target?
With the NFL tampering period starting at 2 PM today, let's look at a few players the Panthers might have their eyes on.
MLB Kwon Alexander
Ever since Luke Kuechly retired, the Panthers have yet to fill the missing hole in the middle of their defense. Despite the emergence of Jermaine Carter Jr, I still think the linebacker position is due for an upgrade. Kwon Alexander would bring a big leadership presence to Phil Snow's defense. A low-risk high reward deal would be preferable due to multiple injuries that he's suffered in the league (Achilles tear, ACL tear, hamstring, strain, bicep tear). When he is on the field, he amasses 471 combined tackles over 6 seasons. If they decide to sign him, the Panthers could look smart when it's all said and done.
LB Nicholas Morrow
For the second straight year, the Panthers would be bringing in a former Raiders linebacker, albeit a much better one in Nicholas Morrow. Due to the perceived state of the Raider's linebacking core, some seem to overlook Morrow. Going undrafted in 2017, he has shown the fight required to make an NFL team and perform at a high level. He's only 25 and has room to grow. Morrow was a versatile piece for Guenther's defense, playing all 3 linebacker positions. No doubt that he can be that for Phil Snow as well.
Raiders Wire wrote this about him: "After a standout rookie season in 2017 that had him outplay every Raiders’ drafted rookie and starting five games, the Raiders weren’t ready to give him a starting job. The same thing happened in each of his four seasons with the team. Each year, despite the team not investing heavily in the linebacker position until this past offseason, they still always brought in a veteran to start ahead of Morrow. And each time, he would ultimately win the job back."
CB Justin Coleman
Justin Coleman has been one of the best NFL slot corners for the last few years, including a couple of seasons with Scott Fitterer's Seahawks. This would serve as a reunion between the two, making it all the more likely for the Panthers, with starter Corn Elder set to hit free agency. Coleman would be a solid signing for the Panthers to bolster their secondary room.
EDGE Haason Reddick
Though it was quite an outlier compared to his previous 3 years, Reddick burst onto the scene for the Cardinals with 12.5 sacks and 15 TFLs. Rhule and DC Phil Snow have worked with him before, during his time at Temple, and could be a great fit on the versatile defense led by edge Brian Burns. At only 26 years young, the Panthers could secure the talents of the ex-Cardinals players.
FS Malik Hooker
A few years ago, Hooker was one of the league's ascending safeties set for a big payday. Fast forward to the present: Malik Hooker has suffered multiple injuries during his very young professional career, including a torn meniscus, ACL, and MCL. This could be another case of a low-risk high reward deal that the Panthers could sign to bring in the 24-year-old. It's not everyday a player of that age and caliber would become available on the market.
Who would you like for the Panthers to bring in this offseason? Do you like the players I highlighted? Leave your thoughts below.