Carolina Panthers: Stephen Weatherly brings quality depth to the table
The Carolina Panthers made it official this week by signing defensive end Stephen Weatherly to a new contract. He will bring some nice depth to the roster.
The main mission of the Carolina Panthers so far this offseason has been doing everything in their power to get younger, faster, and more physical. Many household names have either retired, moved on, or been released. For now, the Panthers know that depth is very important as they try to put everything together for better days ahead.
Earlier this week, the Panthers made it official by signing unrestricted free agent defensive end Stephen Weatherly to a new two-year contract. After spending four years with the Minnesota Vikings, Weatherly will bring his talents to the Tar Heel state.
In the grand scheme of things, Weatherly brings many things to the table for the Panthers. For starters, he has a lot of starting experience and is still pretty young at just 26-years-old. He’s coming off back-to-back seasons in which he posted three sacks each year. He’s fast, physical, and brings a lot of versatility to the Panthers defense which is exactly what they need.
Stephen Weatherly can fill two roles on defense
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At 6-5 and 265lbs, Weatherly has experience as a defensive lineman as well as an outside linebacker, which will give new defensive coordinator Phil Snow a few options to work with.
Ideally, the Panthers can use Weatherly as quality depth in either positional group, to capitalize on his speed and ability to pressure opposing quarterbacks.
As Weatherly prepares for his fifth season in the NFL, he will more than likely be used in substitution packages as he competes in training camp for a starting spot.
While Weatherly likely won’t be a permanent starter on defense, he’s exactly what this team needs to hopefully improve in the future by being quality depth when needed most.
Overall, with his ability to play two roles on defense, expect to see Weatherly be a pleasant surprise on defense every single time his number is called. He has a great work ethic and brings a good mentality to the locker room. The Panthers have been making some good moves so far this offseason and with the NFL Draft on the horizon, they still have a few more opportunities to truly start the rebuilding process on the right foot.