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
(Derick E. Hingle-USA TODAY Sports) Nick Easton /

Nick Easton – G/C

  • 2020 team – New Orleans Saints

Nick Easton became the first salary-cap casualty for the New Orleans Saints, who need to make a number of sacrifices this offseason to comply with the new financial resources available. The versatile lineman has a lot to offer, of that there is little doubt. But he is another that is sure to attract plenty of interest when it’s time for teams to start forming their rosters.

The Carolina Panthers will give Easton a close look. He can play either at guard or center with equal efficiency, which is something head coach Matt Rhule sought in almost every new recruit during his first year at the helm.

Easton played 565 snaps for the Saints in 2020, giving up two penalties and three sacks. New Orleans has a strong enough offensive line to cope with his departure and this familiarity with the system being deployed by coordinator Joe Brady in Carolina is another element to this scenario that shouldn’t be overlooked.

The former undrafted free-agent is incredibly intelligent and goes about his business with a quiet determination that fits in well with that Carolina is trying to create. Easton won’t be as expensive as the first two players on this list and bringing him in would be a shrewd move by the Panthers.