5 former Panthers who might’ve already played their last NFL season

(Rich Barnes-USA TODAY Sports) Josh Norman
(Rich Barnes-USA TODAY Sports) Josh Norman /
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Carolina Panthers
(Photo by Stephen Maturen/Getty Images) Tahir Whitehead /

Tahir Whitehead – Former Carolina Panthers LB

Not having the commanding presence of Luke Kuechly manning the second level is something that was sorely felt by the Carolina Panthers in 2020. The linebacker was the heart and soul of the team’s defense from the moment he stepped onto the field and his shock retirement was always going to come with a period of adjustment.

However, if the Panthers were Tahir Whitehead was going smooth this transition, they were sadly mistaken.

The free-agent signing from the Las Vegas Raiders was nothing short of a disaster. It was also clear from almost the outset that his reunion with Matt Rhule wasn’t going to come with any substantial results.

Whitehead was a constant weak link – especially in coverage – and things only improved at the second level when the coaching staff finally removed him from the rotation in place of Jermaine Carter.

Unsurprisingly, Whitehead was not offered a new deal by the Panthers and remains without a team this late in the 2021 preparation period.

Most teams aren’t stupid. They saw the way Whitehead regressed last season and know full well it’s a massive risk to bring him on board in any capacity.

Whether this is the end of Whitehead’s NFL career is up for debate. But it wouldn’t be a shock considering what we saw from the player in Carolina.