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 /
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Carolina Panthers
(Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports) Lavonte David /

Lavonte David

  • 2020 team – Tampa Bay Buccaneers

There are some players that have pure, raw talent when it comes to playing defense. Their instincts take over and before you know it you’re celebrating an amazing play with teammates on pure instinct alone, almost as if they were on autopilot.

Lavonte David is one of these rare players.

David’s style of play is aggressive, clean, smash and dash defense. No scheme catches him off guard as he appears to almost be synced in with an opposing offense in a similar way to what the Carolina Panthers saw from Luke Kuechly throughout his career.

As the recent campaign showed time and time again, David likes to make big plays and does so frequently.

According to Pro Football Reference, during the 2020 regular season, David had one interception for 27 yards, two sacks, four passes defended, 12 tackles for loss, 82 solo tackles, and three quarterback hits.

Pro Football Focus David ranked No. 8 in their free agency list with an overall rating of 81.5. He played a leading role in the Tampa Bay Buccaneers clinching another elusive Super Bowl over the Kansas City Chiefs

David finished the 2021 season as a champion of  Super Bowl LV against the Kansas City Chiefs and has a first-team All-Pro selection to his name.

The Panthers need a seasoned veteran to fill the void at linebacker. The retirement of Kuechly has not gone unnoticed and David will bring that heat seeker intensity that has been absent from Carolina’s second level outside of stud rookie Jeremy Chinn on the outside.