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
(Quinn Harris-USA TODAY Sports) Cairo Santos /

Cairo Santos

  • 2020 team- Chicago Bears

Journeyman Cairo Santos was undoubtedly one of the bright spots for the Chicago Bears during the 2020 season. While there are a few things that need to be ironed out for this storied franchise, bringing back the kicker has to be a priority for them.

Due to his status as an unrestricted free agent, the Carolina Panthers may have a better shot at signing him than they have with Younghoe Koo and Daniel Carlson, who could be classed as more of a sure-thing.

At 29-years old, the Brazilian kicker is just entering his prime and could be a key asset in Carolina’s current rebuild. After being brought in as a backup last season, Santos eventually got the starting nod and made 30 of 32 kicks, and only missed one of his 37 extra point tries.

Like Carlson, the Bears kicker set a franchise record – 27 consecutive made field goals which surpassed Robbie Gould’s record of 26. Like every kicker on this list, his career touchback percentage doesn’t matchup to Slye’s and currently stands at 46 percent through seven seasons.

With so much instability at kicker in the last few years, locking up Santos should be high on the list for Chicago. Aside from more money, Scott Fitterer and Matt Rhule may be able to sell the veteran kicker on the chance to play in much warmer, Carolina weather.

Unlike the team in the Windy City, the Panthers could have their solution at kicker for years to come if they lock up Santos in free agency.