5 calls the Panthers should make first when free agency opens

(Photo by Wesley Hitt/Getty Images) Jonnu Smith
(Photo by Wesley Hitt/Getty Images) Jonnu Smith /
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Carolina Panthers
(Syndication: Cincinnati) William Jackson III /

Carolina Panthers call William Jackson

There could be plenty of value to be had in free agency if the Carolina Panthers play their cards right. Acquiring a cornerback to slot opposite Donte Jackson is one of the top priorities and a player with the talent of William Jackson should be a call to make early on in the free agency period.

Jackson enjoyed arguably the best season of his career in 2020, giving up just 36 receptions from 69 targets on his way to a creditable 71.4 grade from Pro Football Focus. He might not be the biggest name on the market, but the former first-round pick has all the skills necessary to fit in extremely well with what head coach Matt Rhule is trying to install in Carolina.

The Houston product has elite speed and has no trouble going down the field with opposing wide receivers thanks to his eye-catching fluidity. Jackson has made noticeable strides locating the football’s trajectory over the last couple of years and although the Cincinnati Bengals will make a bid to get him back, he won’t have a better chance to try a new challenge elsewhere.

Putting the two Jacksons together would be a tremendous asset for the Panthers to call upon. Extending Corn Elder would also be beneficial considering how much the player excelled in the nickel in 2020, which leaves Troy Pride Jr. and Stantley Thomas-Oliver to develop at their own pace.