5 free-agent interior offensive linemen the Panthers could target

(Geoff Burke-USA TODAY Sports) Brandon Scherff
(Geoff Burke-USA TODAY Sports) Brandon Scherff /
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Carolina Panthers
(Denny Medley-USA TODAY Sports) John Miller /

Which interior offensive linemen could the Carolina Panthers pursue in 2021 free agency?

An immensely busy period of free agency is almost upon us. We are just a few short days away from finding out just what sort of reinforcements the Carolina Panthers are going to bring into the organization as they look to progress further in 2021, with plenty of key positional groups set for major changes in the coming weeks.

Much of the attention surrounds which direction the Panthers will go at quarterback. But whoever is under center next time around, the protection needs to be a lot better if they want to really become postseason contenders sooner rather than later.

This bears even more significance on the interior, which crumbled in pass blocking more often than not. Starting guards Chris Miller and John Miller are out of contract, with center Matt Paradis set for a reprieve after restructuring his deal to save Carolina some much-needed cap space.

There are plenty of options with a deep 2021 NFL Draft class, but adding a proven veteran capable of making an immediate impact would also be a shrewd move by the front office. This doesn’t normally come cheap, so any deal needs to work in Carolina’s favor with the salary-cap coming down due to COVID-19 revenue losses.

With that being said, let’s take a look at five potential interior linemen targets the Panthers could call when free agency begins.

Interior OL No. 1

Carolina Panthers
(Geoff Burke-USA TODAY Sports) Brandon Scherff /

Brandon Scherff – G

  • 2020 team – Washington Football Team

Brandon Scherff is the biggest name on the market for players at the position and comes into free agency with plenty working in his favor. He was at his dominant best once again in 2020 after playing on the franchise tag, so there would be no shortage of suitors on the market if the Washington Football Team cannot work out a long-term deal.

Scherff is going to cost a substantial amount, which might put the Carolina Panthers off considering their needs elsewhere. However, it’s hard not to look at the former Iowa stud and not think he’d be a tremendous addition.

The No. 5 overall selection in 2015 gave up three sacks and two penalties from 857 snaps last season on his way to an outstanding 84.1 grade from Pro Football Focus. Former Panthers head coach Ron Rivera won’t want to lose his best interior blocker, with tagging the veteran for a second straight year another possible option to keep him on the roster.