5 AFC East free agents the Panthers could target in 2021

(Photo by Abbie Parr/Getty Images) David Andrews
(Photo by Abbie Parr/Getty Images) David Andrews /
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Carolina Panthers
(Denny Medley-USA TODAY Sports) Matt Rhule /

Could the Carolina Panthers look at the AFC West in their pursuit of bringing some additional reinforcements to the organization in 2021 free agency?

This is one of the more important offseason periods in the 26-year history of the Carolina Panthers. The moves they make in the coming weeks will not only shape their aspirations in 2021 but also have the scope to completely shift the momentum of the franchise in a positive direction long-term.

The task of getting the right sort of recruits via the trade market, free agency, and the 2021 NFL Draft will fall on the shoulders of Scott Fitterer and Matt Rhule, with the new general manager sure to bring a fresh set of ideas and an analytical approach that was coveted heavily by owner David Tepper after the Panthers decided to fire Marty Hurney before the 2020 campaign came to a conclusion.

Carolina Panthers need to budget well this offseason.

Money is going to be tight in the current climate thanks to COVID-19 revenue losses. This makes every decision even more critical than in years gone by and ensures Carolina cannot afford to make any sort of mistakes if they want to enter the playoff discussion next season.

There are plenty of viable free-agent options that will be on Carolina’s shortlist. They have a solid young core to build a possible contender down the line. So with some good additions in the coming weeks, it might see even more in the way of progression next time around.

With this in mind, we took a look at the AFC East and examined which free agents might be on the Panthers’ radar when the frenzied period of activity begins next month.

Player No. 1

Carolina Panthers
(Mark Konezny-USA TODAY Sports) Joe Thuney /

Joe Thuney – OG

  • 2020 team – New England Patriots

One area where the Carolina Panthers need a significant makeover is their offensive line. All five of the 2020 starters have some uncertainty on their shoulders for various reasons, so it wouldn’t be a surprise to see four new faces brought into the organization this spring.

Although it might be a little pricey, Joe Thuney is a name who should enter the discussion. The talented guard has thrived during his time with the New England Patriots, but there appears to be increasing doubt as to whether Bill Belichick is going to give the former third-round pick the sort of extension he’s looking for.

If Thuney is allowed to hit the free-agent market, it is going to come with a substantial amount of interest from teams across the league. Carolina would be in the mix given their need for better options on the interior. However, they might be priced out of such a move.