5 free agency bargains the Carolina Panthers should add in 2021

(Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports) Trey Burton
(Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports) Trey Burton /
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Carolina Panthers
(Jayne Kamin-Oncea-USA TODAY Sports) Chidobe Awuzie /

Chidobe Awuzie – CB

If Chidobe Awuzie was looking to make a big impression during a pivotal contract year for the cornerback, then things didn’t exactly go to plan. This had nothing much to do with his production on the field – which was pretty good overall – but the player suffered some injury problems and also spent some time on the reserve/COVID-19 list.

Awuzie was hampered in his ability to make the sort of contribution required, which might see the Dallas Cowboys cut their losses with the second-round pick rather than give him an extension. The salary-cap will be tight for most teams across the league this spring and Jerry Jones will be up against it more than most.

It is far too soon to be giving up on Awuzie entirely, who has some superb traits to call upon when firing on all cylinders. The Carolina Panthers have some questions to answer in their secondary behind No. 1 option Donte Jackson and bringing him to the organization would be a real shot in the arm.

The former Colorado standout accumulated one interception, five passes defended, and 38 tackles from eight games this season. Awuzie gave up 60 percent of targets thrown his way during the campaign and was awarded a modest at best 51.9 grade from Pro Football Focus as a result of his efforts.

However, the player has all the athleticism that the Panthers sought heavily during the recruitment process last year. Considering the need for help in this area, the move for Awuzie makes a ton of sense.