4 veteran free agents the Carolina Panthers shouldn’t re-sign

(Photo by Jonathan Bachman/Getty Images) Chris Reed
(Photo by Jonathan Bachman/Getty Images) Chris Reed /
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Carolina Panthers
(Bob Donnan-USA TODAY Sports) Russell Okung /

Russell Okung – Carolina Panthers OT

More than a few eyebrows were raised when the Carolina Panthers traded for veteran left tackle Russell Okung in a deal that sent Pro Bowler Trai Turner to the Los Angeles Chargers. There isn’t much the Super Bowl winner hasn’t seen or done throughout his career, but there were plenty of concerns regarding durability prior to his arrival that unfortunately came to fruition in 2020.

Okung’s production wasn’t the worst in the world by any stretch of the imagination when he was on the field. The former first-round pick conceded three sacks and four penalties to attain a creditable 73.0 grade from Pro Football Focus. But his inability to put a consistent run of games together was a frustrating factor and one that Carolina suffered from as a result.

This trade was probably done with the salary-cap in mind. Okung’s $13 million in base salary is coming off the books, which will be put to extremely good use in the current financial climate.

All signs point to the Panthers and Okung going their separate ways unless the player is willing to take a reduced deal with incentives. It’s not like he needs the money, so he might end up taking his chances in pursuit of finding a team that has a more realistic chance of contending for a Super Bowl before hanging up his cleats.

Either way, it would be wise for Carolina to find a better long-term solution to their blindside protection, especially considering how Greg Little simply isn’t coming along as expected.