Carolina Panthers: 3 trade targets from the New England Patriots

(Photo by Maddie Meyer/Getty Images) Isaiah Wynn
(Photo by Maddie Meyer/Getty Images) Isaiah Wynn /
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Carolina Panthers
(Photo by Maddie Meyer/Getty Images) Dont’a Hightower /

Carolina Panthers trade target No. 2: Dont’a Hightower (LB)

Dont’a Hightower was arguably the most established NFL player to opt-out amid health fears in the current climate. The linebacker owes the New England Patriots nothing after a standout spell with the franchise. And nobody should be criticized for putting their family over football in this unprecedented time.

Whether this impacts Hightower’s long-term future in New England is another matter. The NFL is a what have you done for me lately league. And if someone comes in and plays well in the veteran’s absence, it could see the three-time Super Bowl winner become surplus to requirements.

This would be music to the ears of teams like the Carolina Panthers. They will need a longer-term solution to replacing Luke Kuechly somewhere along the line. And although Hightower is the wrong side of 30 now. This year off will do his chances of playing multiple seasons from 2021 onwards the world of good.

light. Related Story. 3 ways Luke Kuechly’s retirement will impact the Carolina Panthers

The Panthers would make a real statement by bringing in a proven winner such as Hightower. The former Alabama standout made the Pro Bowl in 2019 after a series of superb displays. And adding him to this current front seven at some stage during the next offseason is something that warrants consideration.

Much will depend on what sort of direction the Patriots are going in. Hightower will count a whopping $12.44 million against New England’s salary cap in 2021. And with available resources coming down due to a lack of revenue. It could see the linebacker on the chopping block.