5 free agents the Carolina Panthers should avoid in 2021

(Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports) Patrick Peterson
(Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports) Patrick Peterson /
1 of 5
Carolina Panthers
(Jeremy Brevard-USA TODAY Sports) David Tepper /

The Carolina Panthers need to be smart with what money they have available during 2021 free agency.

This offseason is one of the most important in the 26-year history of the Carolina Panthers. Owner David Tepper finally has his desired structure in place following the appointment of general manager Scott Fitterer, who will be tasked with working alongside head coach Matt Rhule to come up with a plan that can propel the organization back into legitimate playoff consideration at the earliest possible opportunity.

Whether this comes in 2021 remains to be seen. The Carolina Panthers have plenty of holes that need to be filled on their roster with little in the way of financial resources available due to COVID-19 revenue losses. This will be a stiff challenge whichever way one looks at it and there is also the matter of 25 players currently out of contract this spring to consider.

Fitterer will know full-well the size of the task awaiting him. Rhule has an exciting young core to build around. But it is imperative that the new appointment hits the ground running to give the Panthers the best possible chance of succeeding right away under his tenure.

The Carolina Panthers must not overpay in free agency.

They will need to be prudent with whatever money they manage to free up when it comes to bringing in veteran players on the free-agent market. Overpaying for players past the peak of their powers is simply not an option and would also go away from the current direction of the franchise since Rhule’s arrival.

With that in mind, let’s take a look at five 2021 free agents that Carolina should stay away from when free agency rolls around.

Player No. 1

Carolina Panthers
(Brett Davis-USA TODAY Sports) Ryan Kerrigan /

Ryan Kerrigan – OLB

  • 2020 team: Washington Football Team

It appears as if Ryan Kerrigan‘s time with the Washington Football Team is coming to an end. The outside linebacker has enjoyed a fantastic career with the organization, but with some exciting young studs coming through on their front seven, it’s probably best that both parties go their separate ways this spring.

The Carolina Panthers do have a need to strengthen their pass-rush and options at the second level this offseason. However, when they are looking at possible options, Kerrigan should not be one of them.

Kerrigan would be better suited on a team that is ready to contend right now in a bid to finish his career on a high. Again, the Panthers simply aren’t at this stage yet and should look elsewhere.