Analyzing the market for Panthers top-5 free agents in 2021

(Photo by Grant Halverson/Getty Images) Curtis Samuel
(Photo by Grant Halverson/Getty Images) Curtis Samuel /
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Carolina Panthers
(Brad Mills-USA TODAY Sports) Mike Davis /

Mike Davis – Carolina Panthers RB

  • Current salary – $2.95 million ($3 million cap)
  • Team priority – Moderate/High

Mike Davis was one of the true success stories of 2020 for the Carolina Panthers. Things could have gone south quickly when star running back Christian McCaffrey went to the reserve/injured list with a high ankle sprain suffered in Week 2. But the veteran slotted into the starting lineup seamlessly on his way to a big contribution.

This represents a significant achievement from Davis, whose place on the 53-man roster was in doubt heading into training camp due to the financial commitment coming his way. However, not only did he earn the primary backup role behind McCaffrey, but the former South Carolina standout also became one of four Panthers players to go over 1,000 yards from scrimmage.

The Panthers now have a problem on their hands where Davis is concerned. He could command plenty of interest on the free-agent market given his impressive performances this season and although having him on the roster would benefit them enormously, they might be priced out of any extension.

There does appear to be a mutual willingness to get a deal done. Davis clearly loves the area and the organization, but the promise of a lengthy contract with a more substantial role elsewhere might be too tempting to ignore at this stage of his career.