4 recent veteran cuts that could help the Carolina Panthers in 2021

(Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports) John Brown
(Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports) John Brown /
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Carolina Panthers
(Syndication: Argus Leader) Riley Reiff /

Riley Reiff – OT

The Minnesota Vikings saved themselves around $11 million when they released veteran left tackle Riley Reiff on Wednesday. This was something of a surprise considering the relative lack of depth behind the edge protector and should have those looking for a plug-and-play option casting more than a glance in his direction.

Reiff recovered well last season after a disappointing campaign in 2019. He was on the field for 1,0002 snaps, conceding just one sack and conceding a solitary penalty on his way to an impressive 71.4 grade from Pro Football Focus.

Simply put, this could transform the Carolina Panthers’ fortunes regarding blindside protection. Russell Okung did perform well during the seven games he was on the field. But dependability was a real concern throughout the season and it would be a big shock if the Super Bowl-winner returned.

Reiff would provide assurance and production to boot. His PFF grades are over 70 over the last three seasons and the former first-round pick would also provide a stable leadership presence within the locker that benefits a young roster who is learning as they go.

Whether Reiff would be within the Panthers’ price range is up for debate.

Veteran left tackles don’t normally come cheap on the free-agent market. Considering how many enticing prospects are entering the league via the NFL Draft this year, this might be the best avenue to go down if they’re priced out of a potential deal for a more experienced player.