5 trade targets for the Carolina Panthers to consider before 2021 deadline

Dean Jones
(Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports) Clelin Ferrell
(Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports) Clelin Ferrell /
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Carolina Panthers
(Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports) Marcus Maye and Sam Darnold /

Marcus Maye – S

It’s been an encouraging start on defense overall for the Carolina Panthers this offseason. Things might get even better once All-Pro cornerback Stephon Gilmore is activated.

Strengthening this group and giving up draft capital to do it seems unlikely. But if someone like Marcus Maye became available it might be worth the Panthers making a call to the New York Jets and seeing what they want for the talented safety.

Maye is currently playing on the franchise tag and is unlikely to get the deal he wants from the Jets. This would undoubtedly make him a hot commodity on the free-agent market next spring, but considering where New York is currently, they could explore the possibility of getting something back in return for someone who won’t be around in 2022.

If there was one remaining area of Phil Snow’s defensive unit that needed bolstering, it’s on the backend. Pairing Maye with Jeremy Chinn is a mouth-watering proposition, however unlikely it may be.

Much will also depend on the compensation involved if the Jets decide to cut their losses. Carolina doesn’t have a second or third-round pick next year right now, although that could change when Scott Fitterer starts wheeling and dealing during the offseason.

Maye’s skills are unquestioned. But he also wants to be paid which could be a problem for the Panthers.