Stay or go? Carolina Panthers 2021 free agents on defense

(Photo by Stephen Maturen/Getty Images) Efe Obada
(Photo by Stephen Maturen/Getty Images) Efe Obada /
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Carolina Panthers
(Robert Hanashiro-USA TODAY Sports) Tahir Whitehead /

Which way will the Carolina Panthers go regarding decisions upcoming on free agents on the defensive side of the ball?

There are some huge upcoming decisions awaiting the Carolina Panthers in free agency. The organization has put itself in a strong position to become major players on the free-agent market after freeing up some significant financial resources by either parting ways with or restructuring veterans over the last week. This should stand them in good stead over the next few weeks as they look to become a postseason contender sooner rather than later.

Carolina might have ended up with a 5-11 record in 2020. But the improvements made on defense as the campaign wore on leaves plenty of reasons to be encouraged.

The young and relatively inexperienced group grew in stature with every passing game. Providing some quality options are brought in and those already on the roster develop their respective skills during the upcoming preparation period, it should make them a real force to be reckoned with in 2021.

Speculation is running wild about the Panthers making a bombshell move to land Deshaun Watson from the Houston Texans. But what adjustments are made to their defensive options will also play a substantial role in any success that comes their way moving forward.

With this in mind, we took a look at and projected which defensive free agents will get extensions or depart the Panthers this spring.