4 mistakes the Panthers must not make in 2021 free agency

(Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports) Teddy Bridgewater
(Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports) Teddy Bridgewater /
3 of 4
Carolina Panthers
(Bob Donnan-USA TODAY Sports) Taylor Moton /

Not improving the protection

This is a deep draft class for offensive linemen, which is something the Carolina Panthers will no doubt make the most out of. However, they should also look at using free agency to pick up a veteran or two that can come in and make an immediate impression.

Unless a college prospect has the rare skill set of a Penei Sewell, then they’ll need some time to adjust. There is no margin for error where Carolina is concerned in 2021 after two 5-11 seasons, with fans growing increasingly restless at cheering on losing football.

Getting a long-term deal agreed with Taylor Moton is priority No. 1 and would give them a lot more options, most notably with the current predicament surrounding wide receiver Curtis Samuel. The stud tackle has three seasons of outstanding production under his belt and has earned the right not to play next year on the franchise tag.

Matt Paradis is probably going to stick around after restructuring his deal. But questions remain about the three other spots including blindside protection with Russell Okung’s $13 million in base salary coming off the books.

Finding a productive left tackle isn’t easy, or cheap, in free agency. Allocated a high-end draft pick on this area and getting two veterans slotted on the interior has the potential to instantly improve things for Teddy Bridgewater or whoever is under center next time around.