5 free-agent wide receivers the Panthers could sign in 2021

(Billy Hardiman-USA TODAY Sports) David Moore
(Billy Hardiman-USA TODAY Sports) David Moore /
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Carolina Panthers
(Denny Medley-USA TODAY Sports) Demarcus Robinson /

Which free-agent wide receivers might the Carolina Panthers look to target in 2021?

Although it might not look like it, the Carolina Panthers could have some depth problems at wide receiver ahead of 2021 free agency. A number of players are out of contract with their futures uncertain, so it might result in the organization strengthening this area of the field not only with some exciting college recruits but also during the upcoming period of free agency.

The main problem is obviously what Carolina is going to do with Curtis Samuel. The wideout enjoyed a sensational season that might have priced the Panthers out of keeping the former second-round pick, which would be a significant blow to their options not only in the passing game but in specific running packages.

Brandon Zylstra, Keith Kirkwood, and Pharoh Cooper could also depart this spring. This would leave Carolina with just D.J. Moore, Robby Anderson, and undrafted free-agent Omar Bayless to call upon. So it’s vital their options are given a boost with the financial resources at their disposal.

With this in mind, let’s take a look at five potential free-agent targets that the Panthers could target in the coming weeks.

Wide Receiver No. 1

Carolina Panthers
(Denny Medley-USA TODAY Sports) Rashard Higgins /

Rashard Higgins

  • 2020 team – Cleveland Browns

Rashard Higgins has carved out a successful career for himself despite entering the league as a fifth-round pick back in 2016. He was a vital cog for the Cleveland Browns in 2020 as they made the postseason and even upset the Pittsburgh Steelers in the wildcard round, which might see plenty of interest come the player’s way in free agency.

One thing that really stood out regarding Higgins in 2020 was his dependability. The wideout brought in 37 receptions from 51 targets and wasn’t credited with a single drop. So if Curtis Samuel did depart the Carolina Panthers this offseason, he might be a ready-made replacement in the passing game.

As is the case with every decision, much will depend on the money involved and whether the Panthers can afford it. But someone like Higgins would be a tremendous addition to an offense that is loaded with playmakers.