6 remaining free agents with connections to Panthers GM Scott Fitterer

(San Francisco 49ers/Pool Photo via USA TODAY Network) Richard Sherman
(San Francisco 49ers/Pool Photo via USA TODAY Network) Richard Sherman /
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Carolina Panthers
(Troy Taormina-USA TODAY Sports) James Carpenter /

James Carpenter – OG

  • 2020 team – Atlanta Falcons

Another offensive lineman still sitting on the free-agent market is James Carpenter. The Seattle Seahawks selected him in the first round back in 2011, which was the first year Scott Fitterer was director of college scouting within the organization.

Carpenter has gone on to have an impressive career, winning a Super Bowl in the process. He spent four years in Seattle before moving onto the New York Jets, with his last two seasons spent as a member of the Atlanta Falcons.

As stated previously, the Carolina Panthers need some stability within their protection. Otherwise, things could become tricky for new quarterback Sam Darnold.

Carolina might be happy to go with what they have in the lead-up to camp. But if certain players underperform or the injury bug strikes, then Fitterer could do far worse than look in Carpenter’s direction.

The interior lineman featured in 826 snaps for the Falcons in 2020, giving up three sacks and not conceding a single penalty. He does appear to have something left in the tank judging by last season’s efforts, but whether the Panthers decide to go through with what they have or not is a big call they must get right.

After all, failing to provide Darnold with sufficient protection is going to come with serious consequences.