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
(Geoff Burke-USA TODAY Sports) Wesley Woodyard /

Wesley Woodyard

If the Carolina Panthers want to bring in an additional veteran to provide some more competition for Tahir Whitehead, they could do worse than taking a close look at Wesley Woodyard. The experienced veteran is still without a home after being part of the Tennessee Titans during their memorable playoff run last time out and his high football IQ would ensure a smooth transition to a new environment.

Woodyard has been a valuable member of the Denver Broncos and Titans throughout his career that began way back in 2008. This would go away from the youth movement currently transpiring on defense in Carolina, but it doesn’t appear that Whitehead is anything more than a short-term option given his poor level of production so far.

It would also give the Panthers another strong locker room leader to call upon in Woodyard came into the fold. He boasts career stats of 952 combined tackles, 628 solo tackles, 58 tackles for loss, 55 quarterback hits, 28 sacks, and eight forced fumbles, which is outstanding production from a player that hasn’t seen more than 46 percent of any team’s defensive snaps during any one season.

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Whether Woodyard is in the right physical shape to come in and start right away is up for debate. He is 34-years-old and has not had the benefit of preseason activity to build conditioning. But his potential arrival would get Whitehead looking over his shoulder more prominently than he is doing, which might see some improved numbers from a player who was voted as a team captain prior to the campaign.