6 defensive players on the roster bubble ahead of Panthers 2021 camp

(Photo by Michael Reaves/Getty Images) Sean Chandler
(Photo by Michael Reaves/Getty Images) Sean Chandler /
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Carolina Panthers
(Photo by Tom Szczerbowski/Getty Images) Julian Stanford /

Julian Stanford – Carolina Panthers LB

It didn’t come as a great shock to see Julian Stanford return to the Carolina Panthers this offseason. He emerged as a valuable special teams contributor in 2020 and there might be even more to come from the linebacker with a full preparation period with the team this summer.

Stanford has been a solid if not spectacular performer throughout his career. He’s bounced around the league quite a bit in the role of a solid rotational piece who never seemed to progress enough to warrant a full-time starting gig.

This is something Stanford would probably have to settle for once again in Carolina. Their starting three linebackers appear etched in stone at the present time. But there are some concerns about depth if one or more goes down with an injury at any stage.

The Panthers know they can depend on Stanford. He isn’t going to blow you away with elite production, but the Wagner product is a hard worker that gives absolutely everything to the cause.

Of course, there is a temptation to go with younger, less proven players. They inevitably might have more upside than Stanford.

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But the organization recognized the need to up the tempo at training camp by bringing Stanford back into the fold. Winning a spot on the roster is an attainable feat for the player, but everything has to go right.