4 Panthers players who could get bigger roles after free-agent moves
By Dean Jones
Which Carolina Panthers players might see more in the way of game day activity following the organization’s recent moves in free agency?
It’s been a quiet yet profitable offseason so far for the Carolina Panthers. The organization has done a nice job of strengthening problem areas with free agents that could end up being bargains when it’s all said and done and although more will undoubtedly be needed to get them back into postseason contention, this solid period of recruitment will do their chances no harm at all.
There is still some spare cash available if the Panthers want to make further moves. Carolina currently has $23.45 million in cap space available and considering how many veteran players remain on the market thanks to the current financial climate, they might be able to get them for a little less than in years gone by.
Much will also depend on which direction Carolina is planning to go in the 2021 NFL Draft as to how they’ll approach the third-wave of free agency. Plus the ongoing speculation surrounding the quarterback position is sure to be another hugely impactful decision either way to their overall fortunes.
Without further ado, let’s take a look at four players who might be in for a bigger role in 2021 judging by the free-agent moves made by the Panthers so far.
Player No. 1
Keith Kirkwood – Carolina Panthers WR
The Carolina Panthers did bring in David Moore from the Seattle Seahawks to fill the void left by Curtis Samuel, who departed as expected in favor of a big-money move to the Washington Football Team. However, there may be an opportunity for someone else on the wide receiver depth chart providing they do enough to impress coaches during the preparation period.
Keith Kirkwood definitely falls into this bracket after he was given a one-year extension before free agency began. The wideout endured a torrid spell of luck with injuries that restricted him to just one game in 2020, but providing there are no further complications then it might see more in the ways of targets next time around.
Kirkwood was familiar with Joe Brady’s scheme before arriving in Carolina from their time working together with the New Orleans Saints. The Panthers still possess plenty of mouths to feed on offense, so it will be up to the wideout to force his way into a more prominent role.