5 Carolina Panthers players entering 2021 on a short leash

(Jim Dedmon-USA TODAY Sports) Justin Burris
(Jim Dedmon-USA TODAY Sports) Justin Burris /
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Carolina Panthers
(Geoff Burke-USA TODAY Sports) Joey Slye /

Which Carolina Panthers players head into the 2021 season on an extremely short leash from a production standpoint?

The Carolina Panthers do have a much better roster right now than the one which finished the 2020 season. Obviously, there are still some problem positions that could cause complications when push comes to shove, but fans are rightfully looking forward to the new campaign with a cautious sense of optimism.

It’s been another eventful offseason for the Panthers. Matt Rhule and his staff were probably relieved to get back down to the nitty-gritty of training camp, which has been relatively encouraging on both sides of the football at times.

Things will heat up over the next fortnight with scrimmages against the Indianapolis Colts and Baltimore Ravens. How certain players perform in preseason games could also decide roles or even futures next season.

Without further ado, here are five Panthers players who enter the 2021 season on a short leash.

Player No. 1

Carolina Panthers
(Jeremy Brevard-USA TODAY Sports) Joey Slye /

Joey Slye – Carolina Panthers K

The Panthers appear pretty confident in Joey Slye’s potential to bounce back after an inconsistent season last time around. There hasn’t been a kicking competition of any kind to speak of during training camp so far, which is further proof that the Virginia Tech product is getting another opportunity to make the position his own long term.

Slye did miss some clutch kicks in 2020, which is obviously a problem Carolina doesn’t want to linger. The team did struggle to convert red-zone chances in touchdowns – which didn’t help – so if they can be more efficient in this area of the field it will help Slye enormously.

It’s important Slye gets off to a good start. Any further problems could see the Panthers look for better alternatives.