5 Panthers players on the hot seat at training camp in 2021

(Jeremy Brevard-USA TODAY Sports) Matt Paradis
(Jeremy Brevard-USA TODAY Sports) Matt Paradis /
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Carolina Panthers
(Bob Donnan-USA TODAY Sports) Matt Paradis /

Matt Pardadis – Carolina Panthers C

This might be a surprise addition to the lst considering Matt Paradis is guaranteed to start the 2021 season at center. But the veteran might just be on a very short leash unless he shows substantial improvements at training camp.

The Carolina Panthers have a potential option to step in if Paradis doesn’t provide stability from a key position. Pat Elflein was acquired in free agency and although he’s struggled at guard over the last couple of seasons, the player spent two years at center for the Minnesota Vikings and had some really nice moments.

This should put more heat on Paradis, who was a prime salary-cap casualty candidate this offseason before both parties agreed to a restructure. His production did improve somewhat last time around, although that wasn’t exactly hard to do after a dismal 2019 – his first year with the franchise.

Paradis also has financial security even if he isn’t on the Panthers next season. Carolina will still be paying him more than $9 million as part of the restructure, which doesn’t exactly scream a sense of urgency for a player who is now the wrong side of 30-years-old.

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It’ll be interesting to see how Paradis stamps his mark on camp. The Panthers clearly see something in Elflein to bring him on board despite recent struggles, so this situation is one worth monitoring, at the very least.