4 Panthers players Scott Fitterer shouldn’t give up on in 2021
By Dean Jones
New general manager Scott Fitterer has some big decisions to make leading up to 2021 free agency, but which Carolina Panthers players is it too soon to give up on?
Scott Fitterer will get little time to celebrate his new job after becoming general manager of the Carolina Panthers. There are some huge calls for the organization to make in the coming weeks as they look to put a plan in place that can make them a playoff contender sooner rather than later and there is no margin for error.
The former VP of player personnel at the Seattle Seahawks has a solid reputation around league circles and it is clear he impressed owner David Tepper and head coach Matt Rhule during a whirlwind interview process last week. Hopefully, this can ensure Fitterer hits the ground running and builds on the solid foundation of talent already in place.
There are 25 players currently out of contract in Carolina and many more nervously looking over their shoulders regarding a potential decision on their future. Fitterer will be hard at work getting the opinions of coaching staff before forming conclusions, with the decreased salary-cap another complication the Panthers need to overcome.
Here are four players that it might be a little too soon for Fitterer and the Panthers to be giving up just yet.
Player No. 1
Joey Slye – Carolina Panthers K
Joey Slye had a down year, of that there is little doubt. But even though the pressure will be on the kicker to turn things around next season, it’s too soon to be writing off the player completely.
Slye has only been a professional for two seasons and did well enough as a rookie to make the Panthers release experienced veteran Graham Gano, who eventually joined the New York Giants. The former Virginia Tech star has plenty to prove at training camp if he wants to make the starting position his own, but considering Carolina gave him an extension following the regular season’s conclusion, the job appears his to lose at this juncture.
There is nothing to suggest he cannot make a bigger impression next time around. However, Slye is skating on thin ice and even the slightest error will come with his release.