4 plug-and-play free agents still available for the Panthers

(Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports) Jerick McKinnon
(Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports) Jerick McKinnon /
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Carolina Panthers
(Robert Deutsch-USA TODAY Sports) Jerick McKinnon /

Jerick McKinnon – RB

  • 2020 team – San Francisco 49ers

With Mike Davis now officially off the roster after signing with the Atlanta Falcons, bringing in a backup who can fill the void if Christian McCaffrey sufferers further injury complications is imperative for the Carolina Panthers. The veteran performed extremely well in the All-Pro’s absence in 2020 and few would begrudge him an opportunity to make a No. 1 starting role his own, even if it is with an NFC South rival.

If the Panthers are looking for someone with a dual-threat skill set who can make a contribution, then Jerick McKinnon might be worth a gamble. The running back missed two years with some significant injury problems before coming back to finally play a role with the San Francisco 49ers last time around, gaining 572 all-purpose yards from 114 touches.

Providing this is an incentivized deal and nothing more, it makes a ton of sense. McKinnon could use the same offensive package Carolina deploys when McCaffrey is on the field and even come in for two-back sets or as an additional weapon in the passing game should the opportunity arise.

McKinnon came within nine yards of going achieving the 1,000-yard milestone from scrimmage during his 2017 season with the Minnesota Vikings before the injury bug befell him in San Francisco. He was on the field for all 16 games during the previous campaign, so hopefully, these troubles are now fully behind him.