6 free agents who could help the Panthers pass-rush in 2021

(Photo by Wesley Hitt/Getty Images) Jadeveon Clowney
(Photo by Wesley Hitt/Getty Images) Jadeveon Clowney /
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Carolina Panthers
(Syndication: The Tennessean) Jadeveon Clowney /

Jadeveon Clowney

A second former Gamecock that the Carolina Panthers could look at bringing in this offseason is former No. 1 overall selection Jadeveon Clowney. Originally drafted by the Houston Texans back in 2014, the edge rusher came into the league as one of the most ferocious college prospects ever.

Since then, he has spent time with the Seattle Seahawks and Tennessee Titans but has yet to find a true NFL home.

Entering the 2020 offseason, Clowney was viewed as one of the most coveted free agents on the market before eventually signing a one-year deal with Tennessee. He failed to live up to expectations in Mike Vrabel’s defense and battled a knee injury that eventually ended his season after just eight games.

With all that being said, it’s possible that the Panthers could nab the Rock Hill, South Carolina native on a relatively cheap deal.

If Carolina could somehow land Clowney, he could prove to be the steal of this year’s free-agent market assuming the player can stay healthy. He just turned 28 on Valentine’s Day, so that supreme athleticism that made him a top pick is still there.

In addition to that, he would likely transition back to his natural position as a true defensive end in Phil Snow’s defense. He has been used as a hybrid-type linebacker/edge rusher at multiple points in his professional career, and could really blossom in a return to a 4-3 base.

There’s obviously some risk in signing a player with Clowney’s injury history, but with the right price tag, it could be a small risk with the potential for a big reward. Next season will no doubt be a “prove-it” year for the three-time Pro Bowler, and could be the perfect addition to the Panthers defensive front.