4 underachieving free agents the Panthers could gamble on

(Brace Hemmelgarn-USA TODAY Sports) Ifeadi Odenigbo
(Brace Hemmelgarn-USA TODAY Sports) Ifeadi Odenigbo /
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Carolina Panthers
(Syndication: Cincinnati) John Ross /

Which underachieving free agents could the Carolina Panthers gamble on this offseason?

To say this is a monumental period for the Carolina Panthers over the next few weeks would be a huge understatement. What decisions are made between now and when OTAs roll around could be the difference between success and failure in the second year of head coach Matt Rhule’s reign. So there are some high stakes for those in positions of influence at Bank of America Stadium in no uncertain terms.

The Panthers freed up some substantial funds to potentially become bigger players in free agency. And considering how the financial situation is currently across the NFL, there could be a real opportunity to bring in some quality players who may not have been available had the salary-cap not come down due to COVID-19 revenue losses.

New general manager Scott Fitterer is being thrown in at the deep end. But he has accumulated plenty of experience behind the scenes with the Seattle Seahawks that is sure to stand him in good stead in a different environment this spring.

Some free-agent signings will be more of a sure thing than others. Here are four individuals who could be worth gambling on even though they’ve underachieved of late.

Player No. 1

Carolina Panthers
(Photo by Bryan Bennett/Getty Images) Trent Murphy /

Trent Murphy – DE/OLB

  • 2020 team – Buffalo Bills

Trent Murphy has never quite lived up to being the No. 47 overall selection in the 2014 NFL Draft. The edge rusher has spent the last three seasons with the Buffalo Bills, accumulating 11 sacks from 35 games for the AFC East champions and the time might have come for both parties to go their separate ways in free agency.

Providing it doesn’t cost the earth, this would be a solid option for the Carolina Panthers. They are likely to roll with Brian Burns and Yetur Gross-Matos as their two starters at the defensive end spot. But adding Murphy to the rotation would give them another option who acquired a wealth of experience.

Murphy earned himself a big payday in 2016 on his way to nine sacks with the Washington Football Team, so there is definitely something there if the price is right.