5 waiver wire targets for the Carolina Panthers after final roster cuts

(Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports) Jahlani Tavai
(Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports) Jahlani Tavai /
3 of 5
Carolina Panthers
(Raj Mehta-USA TODAY Sports) Jahlani Tavai /

Jahlani Tavai – LB

The Carolina Panthers are in need of stronger depth options at the linebacker spot following their decision to remove Denzel Perryman from the roster when the free-agent signing was traded to the Las Vegas Raiders. Jermaine Carter is the starter, but Clay Johnston’s inexperience could cause some complications if the Maryland product is forced to miss time at any stage.

One name that warrants consideration is Jahlani Tavai. The Detriot Lions had high hopes for the former second-round pick, but with a new regime comes different ideas and the player now finds himself awaiting a new home on the waiver wire.

Tavai started 10 games for the Lions in 2020, racking up 58 tackles, two forced fumbles, two tackles for loss, and one quarterback hit. But his struggles in coverage and against the run gave him a dismal 32.1 grade from Pro Football Focus as a result of his efforts.

This would be a gamble. But Tavai has the size and athleticism Carolina’s coveted heavily throughout their recruitment process since Matt Rhule took over as head coach.

Whether this is an option the Panthers are considering remains to be seen.

There wouldn’t be any immediate pressure on Tavai making his presence felt initially, so a change of scenery and fewer expectations could be all the Hawaii product needs to fulfill his potential.