5 franchise tag deadline moves that should interest Panthers

(Photo by Wesley Hitt/Getty Images) Malcolm Butler
(Photo by Wesley Hitt/Getty Images) Malcolm Butler /
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Carolina Panthers
(Jim Dedmon-USA TODAY Sports) Taylor Moton /

Which moves made on the franchise-tag deadline should be of particular interest to the Carolina Panthers heading into free agency?

It proved to be a very interesting few hours ahead of the franchise tag deadline on Tuesday. Teams made some notable moves that will go a long way to shaping the landscape of free agency and although the Carolina Panthers were relatively quiet when it came down to it, there was an expected and welcome move made by the organization that should stand them in good stead moving forward.

Carolina officially slapped the franchise tag on Taylor Moton, who has emerged as one of the NFL’s most productive and reliable right tackles. Letting him test the market was simply not an option and although it’s going to cost the Panthers between $13.5 and $14 million, the former second-round pick has more than proven worthy of such a big financial commitment.

Hopefully, a longer-term commitment can be reached before competitive action begins in 2021, which would lock up an important position for the Panthers as they look to make further progress next time around in the second year of Matt Rhule’s reign.

This is an important time for the Panthers, who are busy coming up with possible free-agent targets and scouting 2021 NFL Draft prospects that could assist from the word go next season. New general manager Scott Fitterer is being thrown in at the deep end, but the recent appointment has made some smart decisions already with Rhule’s blessing that is a far cry from what we’ve seen in previous years.

A precarious situation awaits the Carolina Panthers.

Much more will be needed if Carolina wants to build around their exciting young core. There is the obvious desire for a better quarterback following Teddy Bridgewater’s inconsistent campaign. But ignoring other problem areas will undoubtedly come back to haunt them.

It is a precarious situation and one the Panthers must handle with diligence. Expectations are rising steadily for the organization and if they can get almost every decision right over the next few weeks, it might bring instant results.

With that being said, here are five moves made on franchise-tag deadline day that should interest the Panthers.

Move No. 1

Carolina Panthers
(Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports) Hunter Henry /

Hunter Henry not tagged

One of the real problem areas for the Carolina Panthers in 2020 was their lack of production from the tight end duo of Ian Thomas and Chris Manhertz. Both were handed a big opportunity in the immediate aftermath of Greg Olsen’s departure and their lack of involvement in the passing game will surely result in additional reinforcements joining the organization this offseason.

One name that is sure to generate plenty of interest is Hunter Henry, who was not franchise tagged by the Los Angeles Chargers for a second straight year and will now test the free-agent market. There is absolutely no question he would be an upgrade on anything Carolina currently has at the position. But there is a small matter of finances to consider before making such a move.

According to FanSided’s national NFL reporter Matt Verderame, league sources claim Henry is looking for a deal in the region of $13 million per season. This would probably be a little too rich for the Panthers considering financial constraints, so an option like Jonnu Smith or a talented prospect early in the draft might be the best way to go.