4 Panthers players who could become liabilities in 2020

(Photo by Jacob Kupferman/Getty Images) Russell Okung
(Photo by Jacob Kupferman/Getty Images) Russell Okung /
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Carolina Panthers
(Photo by David Eulitt/Getty Images) Tahir Whitehead /

Tahir Whitehead – LB

Losing legendary linebacker Luke Kuechly to a shock retirement was a telling blow for the Carolina Panthers. Having the five-time All-Pro during this period of transition would have been a massive boost on the field. But his presence is still being felt at training camp in his new role as a pro scout.

Tahir Whitehead is the player who will be tasked with filling the enormous void left by Kuechly. The free-agent signing has plenty to prove after getting a one-year, $2.5 million from the Panthers in pursuit of a long-term deal. But whether he can make a lasting impression remains to be seen.

The former Temple star is familiar with head coach Matt Rhule during their time together in college. He is also a strong tackling presence at the second level that will assist a front seven that has the potential to do some real damage.

One area of Whitehead’s game that might become a liability is in coverage. The player has struggled in this area throughout his career. And this is something that might come under the microscope given how well Kuechly thrived covering receivers or tight ends across the middle.

This is something that Whitehead is fully aware of. He has been leaning on Kuechly heavily for advice and guidance during training camp and has been working incredibly hard away from organized team drills on his cover skills by testing his mettle against formidable adversaries such as Christian McCaffrey.