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
(Bob Donnan-USA TODAY Sports) Rasul Douglas /

Rasul Douglas – Carolina Panthers CB

  • Stay or Go? STAY

Rasul Douglas had the look of a prominent starter when the Carolina Panthers shrewdly claimed him off the waiver wire after the cornerback failed to make the Philadelphia Eagles‘ roster. He was assured in coverage and came up with some hugely important plays that bore more significance thanks to Donte Jackson’s troublesome toe problem hampering his performance.

Things steadily regressed as the season wore on, which is concerning. But it’s unlikely to cost the earth to bring Douglas back and if the Panthers can get another viable starting option, putting the veteran in a key rotational role is probably the best solution for all parties at this juncture.

Corn Elder – Carolina Panthers CB

  • Stay or Go? STAY

Corn Elder‘s production last season was one of the real success stories in Carolina. Working primarily out of the slot, the former fifth-round pick demonstrated his composure to make a lasting impression that will surely come with a contract extension when the time is right.

Getting someone who can make a difference in nickel packages is a special trait that all teams need. Elder worked exceptionally hard to carve out a role for himself in training camp – which he brought into competitive action – so it would be a huge surprise if the Panthers didn’t extend his stay given what they saw from the player in 2020.

Kenny Robinson – Carolina Panthers S

  • Stay or Go? STAY

There was plenty of intrigue surrounding Kenny Robinson when the Panthers took him in the fifth round of the 2020 NFL Draft. His colorful path to the next level after being expelled from West Virginia saw the safety make a starring contribution in the XFL. But things didn’t exactly go according to plan in a professional environment.

Robinson failed to make the same impression other rookies managed and was even released during the season before being brought back. There appears to be a lot of work to do where the player is concerned, but Carolina might decide it’s a little too soon to give up him just yet.