4 Carolina Panthers players set for smaller roles in 2021

(Photo by Grant Halverson/Getty Images) Bravvion Roy
(Photo by Grant Halverson/Getty Images) Bravvion Roy /
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Carolina Panthers
(Robert Hanashiro-USA TODAY Sports) Marquis Haynes /

Marquis Haynes – Carolina Panthers DE/OLB

There’s been nothing wrong with the production of Marquis Haynes, who proved to be a valuable part of the defensive rotation in 2020. The former fourth-round pick out of Ole Miss was on the field for a career-high 37 percent of defensive snaps last season and made a lasting impression when it came to generating pressure in opposing backfields.

The Carolina Panthers had trouble getting quarterbacks off their spot for the most part, especially if a protection scheme managed to nullify Brian Burns on the edge.

Things did get gradually better as the campaign wore on. But some substantial acquisitions were secured across the front seven to ensure the same problems don’t resurface in 2021.

Haynes now faces a fight for the same playing time he received last season as a result of incoming additions. He is also heading into the final year of his rookie deal, so the stakes couldn’t be much higher heading into training camp.

All Haynes can do is work hard, do his job sufficiently and continue catching the eye. More importantly, making every rep count in the preseason and when things get a little tenser in pursuit of getting a longer-term commitment.

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Barring injury, one would be hard-pressed to see Haynes improve on last season’s snap percentage. But that’s not to suggest he isn’t more than capable of building on some positive 2020 momentum that saw him come away with four sacks.