5 defensive free agents for the Carolina Panthers’ wish-list in 2022

(Jay Biggerstaff-USA TODAY Sports) Sam Darnold and Marcus Maye
(Jay Biggerstaff-USA TODAY Sports) Sam Darnold and Marcus Maye /
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Carolina Panthers
(Robert Scheer/The Indianapolis Star via IMAGN Content Services) Tyquan Lewis /

Tyquan Lewis – DL

  • 2021 team – Indianapolis Colts

If the Carolina Panthers have to address their defensive line in 2022 free agency, then someone like Tyquan Lewis represents an intriguing option that could be available at an affordable price. The versatile player managed to gain four sacks as part of the Indianapolis Colts rotation last season and more reps might be coming his way during the upcoming campaign following the departure of Justin Houston.

Lewis is never going to blow you away with elite explosiveness. But he has a high football IQ and is always in the right positions more often than not, with his ability to play anywhere on the defensive front something else the Panthers like in their new recruits.

The former Ohio State star has the chance to make a name for himself in 2021. Adding some valuable dollars to his demands when he heads to the bargaining table next spring.

Whether the Panthers choose to try and keep their current defensive linemen rather than focus their attention on those less familiar with the set-up is unclear.

There is a lot of football to be played between now and when it’s time to scour the free-agent market once again, but it would be remiss of the front office not to keep an eye on players with upside such as Lewis.

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Lewis has to make the most out of what’s going to be a solid opportunity to increase playing time. There will also be plenty of focus on first-round pick Kwity Paye, which should give him plenty of space in which to work.