5 Panthers players facing a make-or-break offseason in 2021

Dean Jones
(Photo by Katelyn Mulcahy/Getty Images) Cam Erving
(Photo by Katelyn Mulcahy/Getty Images) Cam Erving /
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Carolina Panthers
(Kevin R. WexlerNorth Jersey via IMAGN images) Frankie Luvu /

Which Carolina Panthers are facing a make-or-break offseason as they look to make a considerable impact with the organization in 2021?

This promises to be a fascinating offseason where the Carolina Panthers are concerned. A frenzied period of recruitment and departures during free agency was following by general manager Scott Fitterer working his magic on his way to picking up 11 selections that were another big boost to the depth chart.

At least on paper, the Panthers look far stronger now than they did at the end of the 2020 campaign. This will count for nothing if they cannot get it done when competitive action rolls around once again, so it’s vital that Carolina’s coaching staff and their players get the very most out of their offseason program to give them the best possible chance of succeeding.

Preparations are already well underway.

Rookie minicamp is in the books and the first period of OTAs officially began this week. There promises to be a more structured feel to the offseason this summer due to the decreasing restrictions surrounding COVID-19, which will also see preseason games return to the schedule before the new 17-game regular season gets off and running.

It will be high stakes for many for differing reasons. Here are five Panthers players who are embarking on make-or-break offseasons in 2021.

Player No. 1

Carolina Panthers
(Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports) Cam Erving /

Cam Erving – Carolina Panthers OL

It’s hard to put into words how underwhelming the Cam Erving signing was at the start of free agency. The Panthers were in desperate need of a franchise left tackle after Russell Okung turned out in just seven games following his trade from the Los Angeles Chargers, but his arrival wasn’t met with a warm response from large sections of the team’s fanbase.

Erving might have a Super Bowl ring to his name with the Kansas City Chiefs. But his production since entering the league as a first-round pick has been largely disappointing and especially on the edge, with the Florida State product becoming a human turnstile before moving to the interior.

This brought a slight upturn in performance, but the Dallas Cowboys didn’t think he was worth keeping around during the offseason and only time will tell as to whether his form can turn around in Carolina.

What’s important for Erving is that he imposes himself early on, alleviates some concerns regarding his ability, and makes sure anyone looking to start ahead of him gets a fight.