5 NFC South free agents the Panthers can purge in 2021

(Joe Camporeale-USA TODAY Sports) Lavonte David
(Joe Camporeale-USA TODAY Sports) Lavonte David /
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Teddy Bridgewater
(Jim Dedmon-USA TODAY Sports) Matt Rhule and Teddy Bridgewater /

Which free agents from other NFC South teams might the Carolina Panthers look to purge and boost their playoff chances in 2021?

It was a bright start at times during the first year of Matt Rhule’s reign with the Carolina Panthers. The former Baylor man acclimatized himself extremely well after moving from the college ranks under challenging circumstances and although he only had a 5-11 record to show for his efforts, things might have looked far more promising had some close games gone their way.

Rhule himself stated that this was going to be a vital offseason period for the Carolina Panthers. Working in cohesion with new general manager Scott Fitterer to bring in the right sort of recruits will go a long way to determining whether they can progress and enter the playoff discussion, with some big calls regarding current roster members also coming up in the not-too-distant future.

While the 2021 NFL Draft is a good chance to bring in even more exciting young talent, the Panthers might have some additional finances available to make a big signing or two in free agency. Sacrifices need to be made in order to accomplish this with the salary-cap coming down, and there might be some intriguing players from within their own division to consider.

With that being said, here are five NFC South players entering free agency that Carolina might want to purge this spring.

Carolina Panthers targets: Player No. 1

Carolina Panthers
(Denny Medley-USA TODAY Sports) Keanu Neal /

Keanu Neal – S

Keanu Neal might have been the best of a bad bunch at the backend for the Atlanta Falcons in 2020. His game remained consistent besides the odd blip and certainly came on a great deal once the organization finally put Dan Quinn out of his misery after a defeat to the Panthers earlier in the campaign.

The safety spot might be an area where the Panthers look to strengthen in the coming weeks. Tre Boston and Juston Burris failed to meet expectations overall and even if Carolina does eventually decide to move stud rookie Jeremy Chinn back to his preferred position, adding someone with Neal’s skill set wouldn’t be the worst idea in the world.

Neal reached the 100-tackle mark for the third time in his career this season. The Falcons would probably like to keep him around, but you never know what will happen with a new head coach and general manager entering the mix at the same time.