4 free agents the Carolina Panthers will regret not signing in 2021

(Syndication: The Record) Dalvin Tomlinson
(Syndication: The Record) Dalvin Tomlinson /
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Carolina Panthers
(Syndication: North Jersey) Dalvin Tomlinson /

Dalvin Tomlinson – DT

One area where the Carolina Panthers did get a little weaker this offseason was at defensive tackle. They have a true stud in Derrick Brown judging by what the No. 7 overall selection demonstrated during an outstanding rookie campaign, but cutting both Zach Kerr and Kawann Short has left their rotation depleted despite the acquisition of three-technique Morgan Fox from the Los Angeles Rams.

Someone like Dalvin Tomlinson would have been a long-term partner for Brown that does seem like a chance missed after he signed a two-year, $21 million deal with a $12.5 million signing bonus and $20.8 million guaranteed with the Minnesota Vikings, which is stretched over five years and will cost the organization $7.5 million in dead cap money in 2023 even if the lineman isn’t extended.

This was probably the going rate for Tomlinson, who showed enormous promise for the New York Giants and it’s clear his best football is yet to come. Bringing him to the Panthers on this sort of financial outlay might not have been the wisest decision in the world. But the benefits were there for all to see.

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Instead, Tomlinson joins a Minnesota defensive front that is expected to be much improved next season thanks to his arrival and the impending returns of Michael Pierce and stud pass-rusher Danielle Hunter.