5 free agents the Carolina Panthers should call after first loss of 2021

(Jim Dedmon-USA TODAY Sports) Kawann Short
(Jim Dedmon-USA TODAY Sports) Kawann Short /
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Carolina Panthers
(Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports) Matt Rhule /

Which free agents currently on the market should the Carolina Panthers call after their first loss of the 2021 season?

There always seems to be a lot of overreactions whenever the Carolina Panthers fall to defeat. This was no different following their opening loss of the season at the Dallas Cowboys in Week 4.

The performance was a far cry from what the Panthers put together over their first three games. But in all honesty, the standard of competition was much greater.

If head coach Matt Rhule wanted this to be a measuring stick, it leaves no doubt that there is much work to be done if the organization wants to legitimately turn into a playoff contender. That includes potentially bolstering some problem areas that are quickly becoming a real concern.

With this in mind, here are five free agents the Panthers should consider calling after their Week 4 loss at the Cowboys.

Free Agent No. 1

Carolina Panthers
(Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports) Mitchell Schwartz /

Mitchell Schwartz – OT

Pass protection is something the Panthers need to do more effectively if they want to remain on track. Sam Darnold was running for his life constantly as the pocket collapsed around him at the Cowboys, so if Carolina is insistent on not throwing the likes of Brady Christensen and Deonte Brown into the mix, then acquiring a veteran wouldn’t be the worst idea in the world.

Whether Mitchell Schwartz is ready to resume playing after undergoing back surgery is unknown. But it wouldn’t hurt the Panthers to put in a call regardless.

Schwartz, who is a Super Bowl winner from his time with the Kansas City Chiefs, was contemplating retirement at one stage. Much will also depend on how the player’s recovery is going, but if the desire is there, the California product could definitely assist.