5 Carolina Panthers newcomers who could surprise in 2021

(Jay Biggerstaff-USA TODAY Sports) Chuba Hubbard
(Jay Biggerstaff-USA TODAY Sports) Chuba Hubbard /
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Carolina Panthers
(Robert Hanashiro-USA TODAY Sports) Morgan Fox /

Morgan Fox – Carolina Panthers DL

The Carolina Panthers decided to let Efe Obada walk in free agency despite the popular figure putting up career numbers in sacks last season. Those in power obviously thought they’d found someone who could do a better job from the three-technique position.

That man is Morgan Fox.

The versatile defensive lineman produced some eye-catching moments for the Los Angeles Rams in 2020, where he operated alongside Aaron Donald on the interior more often than not.

Fox gained six sacks and caused some significant disruption. Although one could argue that’s a minimum requirement next to arguably the NFL’s best player.

Fox was rewarded with a two-year, $8.1 million contract from the Panthers that included a $3.01 million signing bonus and $5.03 million guaranteed. More importantly, it gives Carolina another experienced player on a defensive front that’s expected to make some big improvements.

It’s unlikely Fox will start games. That task will fall onto Derrick Brown and DaQuan Jones.

However, when the time for obvious pass-rushing situations inevitably come, his presence could make all the difference.

Generating pressure was something that the Panthers struggled with over the first half of the campaign. Those complications might be a thing of the past in 2021.