5 free agents that could help the Carolina Panthers after Week 3

(Tim Fuller-USA TODAY Sports) Adrian Peterson
(Tim Fuller-USA TODAY Sports) Adrian Peterson /
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Carolina Panthers
(Tim Fuller-USA TODAY Sports) Adrian Peterson /

Adrian Peterson – RB

Christian McCaffrey is the undisputed alpha and the face of the Carolina Panthers. That’s unlikely to change anytime soon, but the player’s hamstring injury suffered on Thursday night has thrown the team’s plans into chaos.

Even when McCaffrey was healthy, the Panthers struggled to gain short yardage when required over the opening three contests and this is a trend that must change if Matt Rhule’s men wish to reach or even exceed preseason expectations.

There remains hope that Royce Freeman can fill this role. Fourth-rounder Chuba Hubbard isn’t really built for it and seems to be going down upon the first contact from an opposing defender more often than not.

Perhaps looking at a veteran free agent like Adrian Peterson is something to consider. The future Pro Football Hall of Famer is keen for another opportunity somewhere, even if no team around the league has catered to this request as yet.

Peterson is one of the greatest running backs of all time, it’s that simple.

Even though he’s a long way past the peak of his powers from the player we saw dominate on the Minnesota Vikings, he could still assist in short-yardage situations and especially in the red zone.

The four-time All-Pro mustered 604 rushing yards at 3.9 yards-per-carry for the woeful Detroit Lions in 2020.  Peterson would also be a hugely influential figure within Carolina’s young locker room, which could be another major boost later in the season.

Imagine what having Peterson on the roster would do for Hubbard’s development. No young back could ask for anything better.