4 likely destinations for Curtis Samuel in 2021 free agency

(Photo by David Eulitt/Getty Images) Curtis Samuel
(Photo by David Eulitt/Getty Images) Curtis Samuel /
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Carolina Panthers
(Denny Medley-USA TODAY Sports) Curtis Samuel /

team. 87. . . . Carolina Panthers. 1

Carolina Panthers

Although this might become a precarious situation, the ball is still in the Carolina Panthers’ court regarding Curtis Samuel.

At least, for the moment.

They will get the first chance of offering their former second-round pick a deal that is fair and reflective of Samuel’s overall influence on the field. This is obviously increasing with every game given his outstanding level of production. But the Panthers do have more salary-cap room at their disposal next spring to get this deal done should they wish.

There appears little doubt that right tackle Taylor Moton is going to get some substantial money next year. The player has emerged as a premier edge protector, and if Carolina were forced to choose between the two, then it would be the lineman they’d probably go with.

If both parties cannot agree to terms on a new deal, then the Panthers can always use the franchise tag on Samuel to give them some more time and prevent the receiver from testing the free-agent market. The projected tag price next year is set to be a little more than $16 million, according to Over the Cap, which might be a little too much Carolina is willing to pay.

OTC also expects the transition tag to be somewhere in the region of $13.92 million, which isn’t out of the realms of possibility. But the Panthers would ideally like to get an agreement in place with Samuel way ahead of the free-agent date.