Grading every Carolina Panthers signing of 2021 free agency so far

(Randy Sartin-USA TODAY Sports) Micah Simon
(Randy Sartin-USA TODAY Sports) Micah Simon /
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Carolina Panthers
(Billy Hardiman-USA TODAY Sports) Haason Reddick /

Haason Reddick – Carolina Panthers DE/OLB

  • Free-agent signing grade – A+

Getting a player who achieved 12.5 sacks last season at the sort of price Hasson Reddick signed for when he joined the Carolina Panthers represents an exceptional bargain whichever way one looks at it. The edge rusher is set to form a prolific tandem with stud defensive end Brian Burns and if the former first-round pick can build on a career year working with his ex-college coach once again, then a bumper payday will be coming his way in 2022.

Reddick has all the intangibles needed to make a massive difference. With further improvement also expected from second-round selection Yetur Gross-Matos in his sophomore year, Carolina’s pass-rush should be able to avoid the problems generating pressure that blighted them during the early stages of 2020.

This is a win-win for both parties. If Reddick doesn’t work out he can be moved on at no cost. But the chances of this appear slim considering his previous relationship with Rhule.

Pat Elflein – Carolina Panthers OG

  • Free-agent signing grade – F

Giving Pat Elflein a two-year deal when he produced nothing over the last two seasons was arguably Carolina’s worst offseason move so far. The lineman can play either at guard or center, which is the sort of versatility the Panthers clearly love in almost every player. But it’s hard to look at his level of consistency with the Minnesota Vikings or New York Jets to have any sort of faith he can be a useful starter in a different environment.

Elflein wasn’t short of confidence in his own ability during his introductory presser, which is great. However, the film doesn’t lie and there is much work to be done for the player to thrive in Carolina.

Micah Simon – Carolina Panthers WR

  • Free-agent signing grade – C

It wasn’t just quarterback prospect Zach Wilson that got a lot out of BYU’s recent pro day. Micah Simon’s blazing speed and pass-catching prowess impressed the Panthers enough to sign him just a few short hours after the showcase concluded, which formally sets the wide receiver on the path to redemption.

Simon went undrafted after COVID-19 prevented him from participating in the Scouting Combine, with his final season at BYU resulting in 51 receptions for 616 receiving yards and two touchdowns.

It’s a little too soon to tell what the Panthers have in Simon just yet. But make no mistake, he is well worth bringing in for a closer look.