6 free agents who could get the Panthers in playoff contention

(Robert Hanashiro-USA TODAY Sports) Anthony Harris
(Robert Hanashiro-USA TODAY Sports) Anthony Harris /
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Carolina Panthers
(Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports) Lavonte David /

Lavonte David – LB (Tampa Bay Buccaneers)

If the Carolina Panthers are serious about taking the next step and becoming a postseason challenger, they need to get some proven experience through the door in free agency. Lavonte David undoubtedly fits into this particular category and he just so happens to occupy a position of need at the second level.

Things have gotten better within Carolina’s linebacker corps since they finally made the decision to bench Tahir Whitehead, who was clearly holding the defense back. Jermaine Carter has looked energized with more time on the field and this has also raised the level of production of Shaq Thompson in the process.

That being said, it remains to be seen whether the coaching staff considers Carter to be a viable long-term option to fill the huge void left by Luke Kuechly’s shock retirement. David has been playing at a high level for the Buccaneers this season, recording 90 combined tackles, 67 solo tackles, 10 tackles for loss, 1.5 sacks, three quarterback hits, five passes defended, one interception, one forced fumble, and nine pressures to his name in 2020.

David has an impressive 80.4 grade from Pro Football Focus to further highlight just what a standout performer he’s been in Tampa Bay. He might be heading towards the end of his career, but the former second-round pick shows no signs of slowing down.