4 free-agent cornerbacks who are still on the market for Panthers

(Kevin R. Wexler/NorthJersey.com via USA TODAY NETWORK) Brian Poole
(Kevin R. Wexler/NorthJersey.com via USA TODAY NETWORK) Brian Poole /
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Carolina Panthers
(Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports) Gareon Conley /

Which veteran free-agent cornerbacks are still on the market that the Carolina Panthers should target in the not-too-distant future?

It’s been an eventful start to 2021 free agency for the Carolina Panthers as the organization looks to bring the necessary pieces on-board in pursuit of becoming a postseason challenger next season. General manager Scott Fitterer has done a nice job of strengthening problem areas on defense so far, with the additions of David Moore and Dan Arnold set to bolster options in the passing game for whoever is under center.

Yes, the Panthers did lose a prolific figure in Curtis Samuel when the wide receiver opted for a big-money move to the Washington Football Team. But overall, the roster looks a lot better now than it did this time last week.

There are still a couple of key positional groups that warrant attention. The offensive line needs upgrading despite the acquisitions of Pat Elflein and Cam Erving, with the secondary also requiring a more consistent presence to put opposite No. 1 cornerback Donte Jackson.

Carolina Panthers still have free-agent options at CB.

This is a market like no other. An eight percent reduction in the salary-cap is making for some real bargains in free agency regarding veterans who want a short-term commitment before potentially cashing in next year when the financial resources soar thanks to the new TV deal.

With this in mind, here are four cornerbacks still on the market that the Panthers should consider signing in the coming days.

Cornerback No. 1

Carolina Panthers
(Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports) Casey Hayward Jr. /

Casey Hayward Jr.

  • 2020 team – Los Angeles Chargers

There were few eyebrows raised when Casey Hayward Jr. was released by the Los Angeles Chargers as part of their cost-cutting measures. The veteran was still a solid contributor in 2020 for a defense that did go through some struggles overall. But even though he is now entering the twilight of his career, the former second-round pick might be of some use to the Carolina Panthers on a short-term deal.

There is next to no depth behind Donte Jackson. So the Panthers need to be active in this particular area of the field both for the remainder of free agency and in the 2021 NFL Draft.

Hayward gave up just 36 receptions from 75 targets thrown his way last season and although the Vanderbilt product did concede some big plays, this is a low-risk, high-reward option for Carolina to consider.

In addition to production on the field, Hayward would also bring strong leadership abilities to a young roster, which could make all the difference during a critical campaign for the organization.