5 Carolina Panthers backups who’ll push for serious playing time in 2021

(Bob Donnan-USA TODAY Sports) Stantley Thomas-Oliver
(Bob Donnan-USA TODAY Sports) Stantley Thomas-Oliver /
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Carolina Panthers
(Denny Medley-USA TODAY Sports) Sam Franklin /

Sam Franklin – Carolina Panthers S

Juston Burris could be set for a bounce-back season with Jeremy Chinn alongside him at safety. But it’s clear that the veteran is going to be on a short leash in 2021.

The Carolina Panthers have involved Sam Franklin plenty with the first team throughout training camp. He has the versatility to occupy either safety position if need be and the undrafted free agent is well thought of by coaches and players alike.

Franklin is another who performed well above expectations last season. The former Temple standout’s previous knowledge of Matt Rhule and Phil Snow’s system served him well, but what comes next will be vital for the player’s chances of carving out a long-term future for himself.

Last season’s experience is a solid platform to build for Franklin. But there is also additional competition from others on the depth chart hoping to get an opportunity at some stage.

The sort of competition for places Carolina should benefit from.

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Franklin is in the driving seat as the primary backup. Much will obviously depend on how Burris performs, but it’s no guarantee he’ll find the sort of form the Panthers got from the player before a rib injury suffered at the Minnesota Vikings.