Carolina Panthers are the perfect fit for free agent Geno Atkins

(Kareem Elgazzar/Cincinnati via IMAGN Content Services) Geno Atkins
(Kareem Elgazzar/Cincinnati via IMAGN Content Services) Geno Atkins /

The Carolina Panthers have plenty of cap space left to take a chance on one or more of the remaining veteran free agents. There is no better fit than Geno Atkins.

One of the Carolina Panthers’ strengths is their underrated defensive line. They are coming off a season that saw Haason Reddick and Brian Burns establish themselves as solid edge rushers, albeit on different teams. Although neither player is elite as yet, they get enough consistent pressure to perfectly endcap a solid front at Phil Snow’s disposal.

On the interior of the defensive line, the Panthers are expected to start young Derrick Brown and DaQuan Jones. Both players have shown promise but certainly could use another veteran presence behind them to further boost the depth chart.

Having watched Brown at Auburn and his first year with the Panthers, I am much higher on him long-term than someone like Bravvion Roy, who is probably going to be a rotational piece.

Both players are headed into their second season and Geno Atkins would be a perfect veteran to bring in not only for his production but as a mentor for Brown and Roy.

In his 11-year career, Atkins has registered 75.5 sacks and hit the quarterback 172 times. This is elite production for a player who has rarely been a part of a good team.

He has spent his entire career with the Cincinnati Bengals and is now looking to rebound after what was a terrible final year with the organization.

Atkins’ season ended early due to injury. In the time he was on the field, it was obvious the lineman wasn’t healthy and attempting to play through something.

Geno Atkins would have something to prove with the Carolina Panthers.

The Bengals now in full rebuild mode around their young quarterback Joe Burrow, have released Atkins and are moving in a different direction. Already in July, the former All-Pro is still looking for his next home and there is no better fit than Carolina.

Carolina needs interior depth and is a fringe contender who could offer Atkins a starting role.

Atkins and Brown starting up the middle of the defense would be a perfect tandem allowing the Panthers to rush four and still get consistent pressure on the opposing quarterbacks. Having Jones and Roy behind them to fill in when needed is a mouth-watering prospect.

It is fair to wonder how much Atkins has left in the tank coming off of an injury-plagued season. However, the worst-case scenario for the Panthers is they take a one-year chance on a veteran who doesn’t pan out.

There is very little risk in signing Atkins, who seemingly will have to take a prove-it deal and potentially prove he can return to the form of old.

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For the Panthers, it is a no-risk move they should make soon to add a veteran piece who will help them take the next step in becoming contenders this season.