4 recent veteran cuts that could help the Carolina Panthers in 2021
By Dean Jones
Which veterans cuts made over the last few days should be of particular interest to the Carolina Panthers during the 2021 free agency period?
Although the Carolina Panthers are pleading patience regarding personnel moves this spring, it’s something the fanbase is growing increasingly short of after years of underachievement and stagnation following their Super Bowl 50 loss to the Denver Broncos. Cheering on a losing team is an arduous task, to put it mildly. So results need to start turning around and quickly to restore some faith and excitement across the organization.
It was an encouraging start to the head coaching tenure of Matt Rhule, despite the Panthers finishing 5-11 for the second straight year. He brought around an increased tempo and urgency from the moment he arrived at training camp, which could have resulted in a surprise postseason berth had Carolina managed to come through in close games during the campaign.
This was a steep learning curve, of that there is little doubt.
But what comes next will shape the short and long-term aspirations.
Carolina Panthers have a solid young core to build around.
They have a solid young core to build around providing they can bring in some proven veteran pieces to make an immediate contribution and assist with their progression. There will be plenty available this year due to an eight percent reduction in the salary cap, so if Carolina makes the right moves with their $32.59 million in free resources then there is value to be had.
Fitterer and Rhule were noticeably coy in their pressers, which is understandable with so much speculation surrounding the team currently. Actions will speak louder than words when it’s all said and done, and there is no margin for error.
With this in mind, let’s take a look at four veteran players who were cut loose by their respective teams that could help the Panthers instantly.
Veteran No. 1
Kevin Zeitler – OG
The New York Giants made a surprising move to release Kevin Zeitler, who was ever-present on their interior protection in 2020 and did perform well. However, the financial saving involved with his departure made it too much of a temptation to turn down and this is an area of the field where the Carolina Panthers need some help in a big way.
John Miller and Chris Reed just didn’t turn out to be a productive partnership, especially on pass blocking. This is a deep class for offensive linemen that is sure to be taken advantage of by Carolina, but an experienced presence would also be welcome.
Providing the price isn’t too steep, which it shouldn’t be considering the payoff Zeitler received from the Giants, it could be a shrewd move by the organization to bring him on board.