3 potential free-agent LB competition for Tahir Whitehead

(Isaiah J. Downing-USA TODAY Sports) Tahir Whitehead
(Isaiah J. Downing-USA TODAY Sports) Tahir Whitehead /
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Carolina Panthers
(Jim Matthews/Green Bay Press-Gazette via USA TODAY Sports) Jake Ryan /

Jake Ryan

One of the more intriguing options still available on the market is Jake Ryan. The linebacker was waived by the Baltimore Ravens after seeing nothing in the way of meaningful action in 2019. But he does have a solid resume despite nothing making a big impression since his 2017 campaign with the Green Bay Packers.

His promising career was brought to an immediate halt thanks to a torn ACL that forced him to miss the 2018 season in its entirety. Ryan didn’t fare much better last year and spent most of it on the injured/reserve list as a member of the Jacksonville Jaguars.

There is just no telling what an injury of this magnitude has done for his chance of forging a successful career in the NFL. Ryan is still only 28-years-old with minimal wear and tear on his body besides the knee problem and if the Carolina Panthers opt to go in this particular direction then his name should be high on the shortlist.

Ryan was a key contributor for the Packers in 2017 and played at a supremely high level. He notched 81 combined tackles, 52 solo tackles, one sack, and one forced fumble, which was good enough to earn the player an eye-catching 75.7 grade from Pro Football Focus.

That was a long time ago, and the NFL is a ruthless environment when it comes to this sort of thing. But if Ryan proves his health and the talent is still there, then it is an option worth discussing, at the very least.