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
(Raj Mehta-USA TODAY Sports) Romeo Okwara /

Romeo Okwara to hit the market

Although he may not be the biggest name on the free-agent market, Romeo Okwara is someone that comes with intrigue. The athletic pass-rusher is coming off a double-digit sack season with the Detroit Lions and it was a huge surprise he wasn’t given the franchise tag when they opted to let Kenny Golladay take his chances in free agency.

This is a strange direction to go in, of that there is little doubt. The Lions have made some big changes under their new regime in a short space of time, which also saw the organization trade Matthew Stafford to the Los Angeles Rams in exchange for Jared Goff and a couple of first-round picks.

Generating pressure is something the Carolina Panthers struggled to do early in the 2020 season before showing encouraging signs down the stretch. They do have Brian Burns and Yetur Gross-Matos currently on their roster, but adding Okwara would be a massive asset that could take the tempo up a notch in no uncertain terms.

Okwara is a dominant presence coming off the edge who is a human wrecking ball at the top of his game. He has worked hard to carve out a successful career for himself after being a bit-part player with the New York Giants over his first two years in the league and comes into free agency having achieved 19 sacks over a three-season spell in Detroit.

Much will depend on the money Okwara is demanding. But it would be wise for the Panthers to put in a call, at the very least.