4 positional priorities for Panthers after first wave of 2021 free agency

(Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports) Donte Jackson
(Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports) Donte Jackson /
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Carolina Panthers
(Bob Donnan-USA TODAY Sports) Teddy Bridgewater and Matt Rhule /

Which positional groups should now take priority for the Carolina Panthers with the first wave of free agency now in the books?

The Carolina Panthers might not have been the biggest spenders in free agency so far. But the organization has made some shrewd moves to strengthen problem areas that should stand them in good stead next time around.

General manager Scott Fitterer was keen to take a patient approach in the current climate, which could be worth its weight in gold when one considers just how many veteran players are still on the market. Teams across the league have been cost-cutting a substantial amount to comply with the eight percent salary-cap reduction, which has resulted in some proven contributors still searching for employment after almost two weeks of free agency.

It’s been a good start to the recruitment process. But that’s all.

Carolina Panthers may have an opportunity in 2021.

More is going to be needed if Carolina wants to seriously be considered as playoff contenders in an NFC South that now has the defending Super Bowl champion Tampa Bay Buccaneers, who have kept all their big names around for another shot at greatness with Tom Brady under center.

That will be easier said than done. However, there might be an opening with Drew Brees finally retiring after a sensational spell with the New Orleans Saints and the Atlanta Falcons currently going through their own period of transition under new head coach Arthur Smith.

With this in mind, here are the four positional groups that need to take priority for the Panthers following their initial moves during the first wave of free agency.

Position No. 1

Carolina Panthers
(Geoff Burke-USA TODAY Sports) Derrick Brown /

Defensive tackle

The Carolina Panthers brought in Morgan Fox and Haason Reddick to boost their pass-rush, which should help enormously. However, with Kawann Short and Zach Kerr released ahead of time, there is a clear need for a more stable presence on the depth chart to put alongside Derrick Brown.

Fox can play the three-technique, which he displayed well during his time with the Los Angeles Rams. This will come in handy with Efe Obada no longer around, but a more stereotypical defensive tackle needs to be sought in the coming weeks to further bolster an area that could become one of real strength in 2021.

Whether the Panthers are going to address this with another free-agent or look towards the 2021 NFL Draft is up for debate. It doesn’t matter where another interior lineman comes from, just so long as it arrives.