Carolina Panthers free-agent target: Zach Cunningham (Houston Texans)
One of the more promising upcoming free agents in 2021 at the inside linebacker position is Zach Cunningham. The player has been ultra-consistent during his time in the NFL. And he would represent a significant addition for the Carolina Panthers.
The former second-round pick out of Vanderbilt has been a tackling machine for the Texans. This was especially evident during the 2019 campaign, with Cunningham racking up 142 combined tackles, 99 solo tackles, two sacks, and two pass deflections.
He is set to command significant interest on the free-agent market in 2021. But the ball is in the Texans’ court given their options regarding the salary or transition tags to keep Cunningham on the roster.
There is little doubt Cunningham would be a tremendous addition to the Panthers. He possesses elite instincts and seems to be around the ball on almost every down.
The player has grown in stature with every passing year. And Luke Kuechly and others will be supremely impressed when they study Cunningham on film.
Cunningham will make a little over $1 million in base salary next season. But if he continues to perform to the level he is capable of, then a substantial pay rise will be awaiting him next spring.
The Panthers will be in a position to offer Cunningham the sort of money he is looking for. And it would be another massive boost to what looks to be a formidable-looking front seven.