4 knee-jerk reactions if things start poorly for the Panthers in 2021

(Photo by Grant Halverson/Getty Images) Brady Christensen
(Photo by Grant Halverson/Getty Images) Brady Christensen /
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Carolina Panthers
(Jim Dedmon-USA TODAY Sports) Joey Slye /

Carolina Panthers replace Joey Slye

As is normally the case across the league, when things don’t go according to plan it’s the kicker who is normally sacrificed first.

Joey Slye got a one-year extension from the Carolina Panthers this offseason despite going through some struggles in 2020. He missed some key kicks in crucial moments of games, but it’s worth remembering that some of these were from long range.

Carolina is keen for Slye to thrive and is giving him every opportunity to do so.

Hopefully, the team’s red-zone struggles will be a thing of the past now Teddy Bridgewater is no longer on the roster. But that doesn’t mean the third-year-pro won’t need to come up with the goods when called upon.

If Slye continues to be inconsistent and the Panthers struggle to build early momentum as a result, it won’t take long for the organization to explore alternative options.

A little harsh, perhaps. But this is the life of an NFL kicker more often than not.

They are more expendable than most on the roster despite having a significant amount of pressure on their shoulders. Nobody will know more about what’s at stake than Slye, who has made his intentions of filling the void long-term abundantly clear.

Whether he can do this or not is another matter entirely.