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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Stephen Weatherly, Carolina Panthers
(Photo by Hannah Foslien/Getty Images) Stephen Weatherly /

CAROLINA PANTHERS. 2. 87. Scouting Report. Pick Analysis. DE. STEPHEN WEATHERLY. player

Carolina Panthers Player No. 2: Stephen Weatherly (DE)

The Carolina Panthers made Stephen Weatherly an offer he couldn’t refuse to tempt him away from the Minnesota Vikings in free agency. The defensive end will now get the chance to make a starting spot his own after agreeing to a two-year, $12.5 million deal that included a $4 million signing bonus and $6.25 million guaranteed. And this was something that Mike Zimmer’s men couldn’t match with their salary cap restrictions.

This is an opportunity that Weatherly has worked incredibly hard to attain. The former seventh-round pick rose up the Vikings’ depth chart and performed well backing up Pro Bowl pass-rushing tandem Everson Griffen and Danielle Hunter. So there is plenty of cause for encouragement regarding what the player can do with more time on the field.

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If things don’t pan out as expected, then Carolina has an intriguing option that can step in. The Panthers drafted Yetur Gross-Matos at No. 38 overall after he fell into their laps. And the former Penn State standout will be chomping at the bit for a starting position sooner rather than later.

Weatherly will be all-too-aware of this. And this should add an increased sense of urgency to his game that might be enough to fight off Gross-Matos’ advances initially.

However, if Weatherly doesn’t do enough to convince the coaching staff he is anything more than a rotational player. It will not be long before he is demoted in favor of Gross-Matos.