4 Carolina Panthers players who could take a step back in 2021

Dean Jones
(Photo by Justin Edmonds/Getty Images) A.J. Bouye
(Photo by Justin Edmonds/Getty Images) A.J. Bouye /
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Carolina Panthers
(Billy Hardiman-USA TODAY Sports) Haason Reddick /

Haason Reddick – Carolina Panthers DE/OLB

Getting Haason Reddick on a one-year deal could be a shrewd bit of business by the Carolina Panthers. The edge rusher is coming off the best year of his career by a considerable margin and his previous relationship with Matt Rhule from their time together at Temple is something else that could ensure he gets off to a strong start in a new environment.

Reddick is a disruptive force when firing on all cylinders and his partnership with stud defensive end Brian Burns has the potential to be prolific. Couple this with two space-eating interior linemen in Derrick Brown and DaQuan Jones and it’s hard to envisage a situation where the former Arizona Cardinal doesn’t thrive in 2021.

However, there is a flip side to this coin.

Although Reddick achieved 12.5 sacks last season, five of these came in a single game at the New York Giants in Week 13. His previous career-high before 2020 was four quarterback takedowns, so one doesn’t have to look far to see where things could potentially go wrong.

The Panthers made a smart move in giving Reddick a short-term contract in order to prove last season’s production wasn’t just a flash in the pan. Being around familiar faces on a talented young defense is going to serve him well, but it’s vital he puts every positive element to good use.

If Reddick can achieve this, then a big payday will be coming his way in Carolina or elsewhere next spring.