3 free-agent kickers the Carolina Panthers could sign in 2021

(Photo by Abbie Parr/Getty Images) Daniel Carlson
(Photo by Abbie Parr/Getty Images) Daniel Carlson /
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Carolina Panthers
(Jim Dedmon-USA TODAY Sports) Younghoe Koo /

Younghoe Koo (RFA)

  • 2020 team – Atlanta Falcons

Younghoe Koo, a 26-year old kicker from South Korea, showed massive improvement in his second season with the Atlanta Falcons. He boasted 37 made field goals out of 39 attempts and 33 out of 36 PATs during a standout campaign.

Perhaps most impressive, the Falcons kicker made all eight of his attempts beyond 50 yards last season. Simply put, Koo was a much more accurate field goal kicker than Joey Slye in 2020 and they broke even on extra-point kicks.

In 2020, he was tied with both Miami Dolphins kicker Jason Sanders as well as Las Vegas Raiders kicker Daniel Carlson for the most points during the NFL season with 144, proving to be an essential asset to the Falcons offense and one they would do well to try and keep around before the player tests the free-agent market.

One possible disadvantage to acquiring Koo is that his career touchback percentage is only 47.4 percent compared to Slye’s 90.7%. The Carolina Panthers’ front office has to decide whether they can sacrifice the advantage on kickoffs for a more consistent presence on field goals in their pursuit of progression.

As a restricted free agent, it’s highly possible the Falcons sign him to an extension. But stealing him away would be a huge win for the Panthers in free agency.