3 free-agent linebackers the Carolina Panthers might target in 2021

(Photo by Mike Ehrmann/Getty Images) Lavonte David
(Photo by Mike Ehrmann/Getty Images) Lavonte David /
2 of 4
Carolina Panthers
(Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports) Denzel Perryman /

Denzel Perryman

  • 2020 team – Los Angeles Chargers

According to statistics put together by Pro Football Focus, Denzel Perryman earned a grade of 83.3 against the run, and his coverage grade of 74.1 represents the best figure of his career in that area.

Perryman ranked in an eight-way tie at No. 68 overall across the league as well as a PFF ranking of 96. He runs a 4.78-second 40-yard dash and finished the 2020 season with 20 tackles for loss, 46 tackles, and one forced fumble.

At 5-foot-11, the linebacker can move swiftly between linemen and stealthy breaks up run plays. Perryman also shows promise with his ability to wait to break up passes, resulting in fewer flags and costly gains.

The former second-round pick out of Miami has enough experience to become a leader and potentially a captain on defense, which is something the Carolina Panthers will be missing with their departure of veteran Kawann Short to free-up some necessary salary-cap space.

Similar to Thomas Davis, Perryman can hit hard and stop runs. In addition to speed and size, he has the upside to progress further with more responsibility than he was given with the Los Angeles Chargers.

Another positive note about signing Perryman would be energy, which is something Carolina sought heavily during their recruitment process last year. This move is also unlikely to cost too much compared to other players at the position, which only sweetens the deal.