4 Panthers players who could get bigger roles after free-agent moves

(Photo by Grant Halverson/Getty Images) Troy Pride Jr.
(Photo by Grant Halverson/Getty Images) Troy Pride Jr. /
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Carolina Panthers
(Jim Dedmon-USA TODAY Sports) Bravvion Roy /

Bravvion Roy – Carolina Panthers DT

The Carolina Panthers made a couple of veteran releases from their defensive line this offseason. One was expected, the other not so much.

Kawann Short’s time with the organization officially came to end after a disappointing two years off the field through injury. This saved Carolina a substantial amount on their salary-cap that’s been put to good use, but the surprise decision to part ways with Zach Kerr leaves them short of reliable options at defensive tackle.

Considering how well Kerr played in 2020 on a rotational role and the minimal savings involved, keeping him around on the final year of his deal was probably the smart way to go. The Panthers did sign Morgan Fox from the Los Angeles Rams for a three-technique presence following the loss of Efe Obada to the Buffalo Bills, but another option might be sought either with a free-agent veteran or during the 2021 NFL Draft.

Another possibility Carolina has is providing Bravvion Roy with more reps during his sophomore year in a professional environment. The sixth-round pick out of Baylor far exceeded expectations in Year 1 with the Panthers, recording 29 tackles, one sack, five quarterback hits, two tackles for loss, and eight pressures from 40 percent of the team’s snaps on defense.

This resulted in Roy attaining a less than stellar 43.9 grade from Pro Football Focus, which was largely down to his ability to stay consistent after starting strongly. If the player can work on his conditioning this offseason, he could have a substantial role to play.