6 free agents in problem areas the Panthers should sign pre-camp

(Photo by Jason Miller/Getty Images) Olivier Vernon
(Photo by Jason Miller/Getty Images) Olivier Vernon /
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Carolina Panthers
(Photo by Grant Halverson/Getty Images) Kawann Short and Russell Okung /

Which free agents still on the market could the Carolina Panthers look to acquire to boost obvious problem areas ahead of training camp?

The Carolina Panthers could still use some help at certain positions to further boost their chances of attaining something notable from the 2021 season. Matt Rhule has a young, dynamic set of players to lean on after another busy offseason of recruitment. But whether this inexperience will come back to haunt them at critical moments cannot be determined until we see them on the gridiron in a competitive environment.

Hopes are obviously high. This tends to be the case at this stage of the preparation period and if the Panthers can put everything together when it matters most, it might come with a surprise postseason push when it’s all said and done.

Despite the encouragement, there are some areas of the roster that pose some real concerns. Carolina might opt to go with what they have initially, but with $10.33 million in salary-cap space remaining, there is the option to bring in additional reinforcements if they feel it can benefit the team.

With this in mind, here are six players looking for a new home that the Panthers should take a close look at before their return to Wofford College in Spartanburg for training camp.

Carolina Panthers: Potential free-agent targets in positions of need.

Free-Agent No. 1

Carolina Panthers
(Bob Donnan-USA TODAY Sports) Russell Okung /

Russell Okung – OT

  • 2020 team – Carolina Panthers

The left tackle position is arguably the second most important position on offense besides the quarterback. Simply put, it’s a big worry that the Carolina Panthers don’t have a stable blindside presence heading into the 2021 season.

Cam Erving harbors ambitions to play the position after arriving in free agency. But there isn’t exactly any confidence he can thrive judging by what we’ve seen throughout his career.

Bringing back Russell Okung is an option worth considering. Health rather than production was the reason Carolina opted not to bring him back, so providing there are no further complications and he’s willing to accept a lower offer, it could be a win-win for all parties.

Okung is already familiar with the scheme, which is a bonus. If the Panthers want to strengthen their protection options, the former Pro Bowler is a viable possibility.