5 veteran free agents to boost the Carolina Panthers pass-rush in 2022
By Dean Jones
Which pass-rushers remaining on the free-agent market could the Carolina Panthers potentially acquire now that the 2022 NFL Draft has concluded?
The Carolina Panthers didn’t prioritize finding a productive pass-rusher to compensate for the loss of Haason Reddick during the draft, who departed in free agency for the Philadelphia Eagles after an 11-sack campaign in 2021. Those in power did manage to secure the services of Amare Barno in Round No. 6, but he is seen as a development project that can hopefully assist the rotation over time.
This will pile more pressure on Brian Burns, who recently had his fifth-year option picked up as expected following a Pro Bowl season last time around. Much is also expected of Yetur Gross-Matos and Marquis Haynes with increased reps after Reddick took his chances elsewhere.
Carolina has plenty of salary-cap space available if they choose to strengthen this key area of the field. And there are a number of eye-catching names still on the market if this scenario comes to fruition.
With this in mind, here are five free agents still looking for jobs that could bolster the Panthers‘ pass-rush in 2022.
Free-Agent No. 1
Carolina Panthers could target Jadeveon Clowney
Arguably the biggest name still sitting on the market is Jadeveon Clowney, who comes from the region and would be an immensely popular acquisition that could bring additional credibility to the defensive front.
Clowney might not have reached the heights expected coming out of South Carolina. But he is a commanding force against the run and played well enough to attain nine sacks for the Cleveland Browns last season.
Much would depend on what Clowney’s representatives are demanding, obviously. However, this would be a nice bit of business by the Carolina Panthers ahead of a crucial campaign for Matt Rhule.