4 second wave free agents that the Panthers should target

(Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports) Darren Fells
(Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports) Darren Fells /
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Carolina Panthers
(Syndication: The Tennessean) Darren Fells /

Darren Fells – TE

The Carolina Panthers have yet to make their expected move at the tight end spot. Ian Thomas is just not the answer and Chris Manhertz has already found a new home in free agency after signing a deal with the Jacksonville Jaguars. So it would be a major shock if they didn’t look to acquire two players at the position before OTAs roll around.

Carolina might be in a good position to select a prolific college prospect. But adding a veteran who has proven production in the league isn’t the worst decision by any stretch of the imagination.

Darren Fells was recently cut by the Houston Texans, which is probably a blessing in disguise for the player considering the state of affairs there currently. The 6-foot-7 specimen has 11 touchdowns over the last two seasons and was still playing at a relatively high level in 2020 despite the team’s struggles overall.

Fells represents a big improvement on anything Carolina has at their disposal. He is a huge presence across the middle and in the red zone, displaying the sort of reliability that’s enabled him to muster a career catch success rate of 71.5 percent.

A college player from lower down the pecking order such as Tre’ McKitty would be another option. But much will depend on what the Panthers do at No. 8 overall if every potential quarterback is off the board by then and they don’t move up.