4 best Carolina Panthers decisions during 2021 free agency so far

(Trevor Ruszkowski-USA TODAY Sports) Matt Rhule
(Trevor Ruszkowski-USA TODAY Sports) Matt Rhule /
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Carolina Panthers
(Bob Donnan-USA TODAY Sports) Teddy Bridgewater and Matt Rhule /

What are the best moves made by the Carolina Panthers during an extremely busy few days of 2021 free agency across the league?

It has certainly been an interesting start to free agency for the Carolina Panthers. Two low-key offensive linemen kicked things off and left some wondering just what sort of direction the franchise was going in before some eye-catching additions during the week left plenty of reasons to be encouraged moving forward.

There will be plenty of twists and turns to come, of that there is little doubt. This is an offseason like no other thanks to the shrinking salary-cap, with plenty of talented veteran players still looking for a new home in the current climate.

If the Panthers can get their remaining decisions right ahead of the all-important NFL Draft, it might see general manager Scott Fitterer have the luxury of picking the best prospect available in any given round, which he clearly wants to do.

Carolina Panthers need more to be a contender.

Much work needs to be done before then. But overall, the Panthers have done more harm than good to their chances of possibly entering the postseason discussion next time around.

This is all about trusting the process for Carolina’s loyal fanbase. Every move will be scrutinized one way or another and there is also the cloud surrounding Teddy Bridgewater’s future that has the potential to completely shift momentum.

Without further ado, let’s take a look at the four best moves made by the Panthers in free agency so far.

Move No. 1

Carolina Panthers
(Photo by Will Newton/Getty Images) Curtis Samuel /

Not overpaying Curtis Samuel

Although his presence will be sorely missed, the Carolina Panthers were right not to overpay for Curtis Samuel. The talented wide receiver departed in free agency as expected in favor of a move to the Washington Football Team, where he will link up once again with former head coach Ron Rivera.

Considering Samuel was the No. 4 option in the passing game behind D.J. Moore, Robby Anderson, and Christian McCaffrey, spending what the former Ohio State standout got from Washington wasn’t the smart play. Had the financial situation been different, then the Panthers could have done this and not compromised other areas.

But that was simply not the case and they will now move on without Samuel.

This is disappointing, especially considering the player’s age and the fact he’s coming off a career season where he went over 1,000 yards receiving for the first time. But make no mistake, Carolina was correct not to overpay where Samuel was concerned.