4 NFC North free agents for the Panthers to consider in 2021

(Brace Hemmelgarn-USA TODAY Sports) Mike Boone
(Brace Hemmelgarn-USA TODAY Sports) Mike Boone /
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Carolina Panthers
(Photo by Frederick Breedon/Getty Images) Romeo Okwara /

Which free agents from the NFC North could the Carolina Panthers possibly try and acquire in the coming weeks?

We are now getting ready for what could arguably be the most eventful free agency period in recent memory. The Carolina Panthers are in a good spot to make some key veterans to their roster in pursuit of mounting a postseason challenge in 2021 and there might just be some value to be had considering the shrinking salary-cap and players not wanting to commit long-term with a new TV deal on the horizon.

General manager Scott Fitterer has stated his desire to slow-play free agency, to a certain extent. This would come with some potential complications and less in the way of talent to go after. But the Panthers need to be smart with whatever financial resources they have available in the coming weeks.

It is a precarious situation, whichever way one looks at things. Carolina has some tremendous young assets to call upon but with a couple of key pieces set to depart for pastures new when the new league year begins, who comes in as potential replacements is going to be of critical importance.

Carolina Panthers have a window of opportunity.

With Drew Brees announcing his retirement with the New Orleans Saints and Matt Ryan’s long-term status up in the air, there is a real window of opportunity opening for the Panthers in the NFC South despite the presence of ageless quarterback Tom Brady on the Super Bowl champion Tampa Bay Buccaneers.

If Carolina can get almost every decision from a recruitment standpoint right before OTAs get underway, it might see them finally move above the 5-11 record they’ve attained over the last two seasons. However, there is no margin for error.

Without further ado, let’s take a look at four NFC North free agents that Carolina should consider in the not-too-distant future.

Player No. 1

Carolina Panthers
(Photo by Frederick Breedon/Getty Images) Romeo Okwara /

Romeo Okwara – DE

  • 2020 team – Detroit Lions

It’s hard to look at someone with the impressive physical attributes of Romeo Okwara and not think he’d be a tremendous addition for the Carolina Panthers. He is coming off a career year with the Detroit Lions where the player recorded double-digit sacks for the first time and putting him on an edge rush that also includes Brian Burns and Yetur Gross-Matos is a mouth-watering proposition.

Okwara plays the game with a sense of ferocity and urgency that could make him an instant fan favorite in Carolina. His ability to assist on running downs has also come on a great deal over the last couple of years and providing the former Notre Dame standout doesn’t ask for mega-bucks on the market, it might be worth the Panthers making a call.

There are more pressing needs that should rightfully take priority with the money available. But the prospect of Okwara joining an improving defensive front littered with young talent is an intriguing one, to put it mildly.