4 Panthers who could get demoted during the 2020 season

(Photo by Grant Halverson/Getty Images) Matt Paradis
(Photo by Grant Halverson/Getty Images) Matt Paradis /
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Russell Okung, Carolina Panthers
(Photo by Harry Aaron/Getty Images) Russell Okung /

Pick Analysis. RUSSELLOKUNG. 1. 87. Scouting Report. OT. CAROLINA PANTHERS. player

Carolina Panthers Player No. 1: Russell Okung (OT)

Veteran offensive tackle Russell Okung has plenty of responsibility on his shoulders next season. The Carolina Panthers made a bold move to trade for the Pro Bowler in exchange for Trai Turner. And he will be tasked with providing quarterback Teddy Bridgewater with prominent blindside protection that gets the offense moving.

Okung is a Super Bowl winner that has enjoyed a fantastic career. But he has struggled to stay healthy in recent seasons. And the lineman played just 257 snaps for the Los Angeles Chargers in 2019.

The jury is still out as to whether the former No. 6 overall pick can make any sport of lasting contribution. Okung is coming up against some of the NFL’s best pass-rushers on a tough-looking schedule for the Panthers. And the week 13 bye is going to be a further test regarding his ability to stay on the field.

light. Related Story. Panthers: 7 tough matchups awaiting Russell Okung in 2020

If Okung cannot get back to the level of old, then the decision-makers might have no alternative other than to demote him. They do have Greg Little waiting in the wings. Although the former second-round pick took some time to adjust to the rigors of the next level in 2019.

The Panthers don’t have any real commitment to Okung besides the $13 million they are paying the player on the final year of his deal. It appears unlikely that the tackle will be kept around with this sort of financial outlay. And this would be more money the organization can free up ahead of a pivotal free agency period in 2021.