5 AFC West free agents the Carolina Panthers might target in 2021

(Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports) Tyrell Williams
(Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports) Tyrell Williams /
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Carolina Panthers
(Isaiah J. Downing-USA TODAY Sports) Denzel Perryman /

Denzel Perryman – LB

  • 2020 team – Los Angeles Chargers

The Carolina Panthers still have a gaping hole on their roster following the shock retirement of Luke Kuechly following the 2019 season. Free-agent signing Tahir Whitehead just didn’t work out – which is being generous – and although things did improve when Jermaine Carter was installed as a starter, whether Matt Rhule is confident in his ability to lead things on the second level long-term is another matter entirely.

With the prospect of moving Jeremy Chinn back to his usual position of safety and an uncertain few weeks ahead for Shaq Thompson, getting additional reinforcements in this area of the field despite the duo of Jordan Mack and Christian Miller set to return after opting out of the campaign due to COVID-19 health concerns would be beneficial, to put it mildly.

Someone like Denzel Perryman makes a ton of sense and might not cost the earth. The linebacker played extremely well for the Los Angeles Chargers in 2020 on his way to an 83.3 grade from Pro Football Focus and there could be even more to come from the player with some extra responsibility on his shoulders.

While the likes of Melvin Ingram and Hunter Henry are also attractive propositions for the Panthers, they might be a little out of their price range. If they could get Perryman on-board at the right price, then it could transform their fortunes at a key position on defense.