3 problems Carolina Panthers have with patient free-agent approach

(Vasha Hunt-USA TODAY Sports) Matt Rhule
(Vasha Hunt-USA TODAY Sports) Matt Rhule /
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Carolina Panthers
(Bob Donnan-USA TODAY Sports) Rodney Smith /

What problems could emerge for the Carolina Panthers if general manager Scott Fitterer takes a patient approach to free agency?

Free agency is always one of the more exciting parts of the NFL calendar. Teams are always clamoring for additional reinforcements to boost their chances and the Carolina Panthers will be no different in the days and weeks ahead after finishing with a 5-11 record for the second straight year.

This will be one of the more turbulent offseasons in recent memory thanks to a reduced salary-cap caused by COVID-19 revenue losses. Instead of having more than $200 million at their disposal, the Panthers and others across the league will now be dealing with $186.5 million instead, which is a decrease of eight percent and has already seen plenty of veteran sacrifices in a bid to comply with this new figure.

Carolina hasn’t been exempt from this, but the recent contract restructures of Christian McCaffrey and Shaq Thompson give them $32.59 million available even after putting the franchise tag on stud right tackle Taylor Moton, according to Spotrac.

Scott Fitterer is embarking on his first free agency period as general manager after arriving in Carolina from the Seattle Seahawks. He’s made an impressive start, of that there is little doubt. But what comes next in terms of recruitment is going to be crucial for the Panthers and their plans to enter the postseason discussion when competitive action begins in 2021.

His recent presser indicated that they are going to take a patient approach to free agency, especially considering the current landscape across the league.

"“We’ll talk to a lot of agents starting on Monday and see where the market is. However, I think this might be one of those years where if you just wait and are patient, you might be able to get quite a few players in that middle class who get pinched by the cap this year.”"

This is a big gamble, to put it mildly. While it might provide the Panthers with a couple of players that could make a difference, waiting around does have its own set of complications.

With that being said, here are three potential problems that Fitterer might have with a slow-play where free agency is concerned.