6 defensive tackles the Carolina Panthers should target in 2022 free agency

(Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports) Sebastian Joseph-Day
(Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports) Sebastian Joseph-Day /
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Carolina Panthers
(Jim Dedmon-USA TODAY Sports) Derrick Brown /

Which defensive tackles should the Carolina Panthers consider signing in free agency to work opposite of Derrick Brown?

NFL free agency officially begins in just under two weeks, and the Carolina Panthers are already scouting players to add to its roster.

Even though the Panthers have spent a lot of effort fixing the defense, the defensive interior is arguably still the team’s weakest position group on that side of the ball.

Looking at this past season, Carolina rotated a handful of veterans at defensive tackle to play alongside Derrick Brown, who has been a star in the trenches since being drafted at No. 7 overall in the 2020 NFL Draft.

Brown made the All-Rookie Team in 2020 and has generated 16 tackles for loss and five sacks in his first two seasons. A contract extension after his rookie deal could be in play for the Auburn product, but behind him are a couple of veterans in DaQuan Jones, Morgan Fox, and Bravvion Roy.

Jones is set to be a free agent with no guarantee of returning, while Fox is still under contract for one more season but splits his snaps between the interior and on the edge. Phil Hoskins and promising rookie Daviyon Nixon round out the depth at the position, with the hope that both can become valuable contributors down the line.

General Manager Scott Fitterer will have to make smart decisions this offseason with the limited amount of cap space available to spend. After the Ian Thomas extension, the Panthers are in the middle of the pack with a projected $15 million in spare resources, which is narrowly above the league average of $14.1 million.

The defensive tackle position shouldn’t be a focal point this offseason. Carolina has glaring needs at more important positions, specifically at quarterback and on the offensive line. However, if the cards align, there’s no reason not to pull the trigger.

With that in mind, here are six free-agent defensive tackles the Panthers should consider signing this offseason.