6 free agents who should be on the Panthers’ wish list in 2021

(Photo by Katelyn Mulcahy/Getty Images) Hunter Henry
(Photo by Katelyn Mulcahy/Getty Images) Hunter Henry /
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Carolina Panthers
(Syndication: The Record) Leonard Williams /

Pick Analysis. DL. NEW YORK GIANTS. 31. Scouting Report. LEONARDWILLIAMS. 2. player

Leonard Williams – DL

Getting considerable pressure in opposing backfields is something of a concern for the Carolina Panthers this season. They do have two young pieces in Brian Burns and Yetur Gross-Matos who can make things happen when firing on all cylinders, but another prominent veteran in this area would to their chances the world of good.

Leonard Williams is currently playing on the franchise tag with the New York Giants and has played well despite their struggles. Operating from the defensive tackle spot, the former first-round pick has five sacks, 11 quarterback hits, 15 pressures, and seven tackles for loss and is sure to be a hot commodity on the free-agent market next spring.

If the Panthers were to acquire someone like Williams, it would be a massive help. Derrick Brown needs a longer-term solution besides him on the interior with Kawann Short’s future in some doubt thanks in no small part to his injury struggles and 2021 salary-cap hit of $20.83 million.

It’s easy to forget that Williams is still only 26-years-old. The player has bounced back after a turbulent 2019 campaign that saw him traded to the Giants from the Jets and the added incentive of a big-money deal elsewhere is clearly something that’s motivated him to become the force of old this season.