5 veteran free agents to boost the Carolina Panthers pass-rush in 2022

(Stan Szeto-USA TODAY Sports) Benson Mayowa
(Stan Szeto-USA TODAY Sports) Benson Mayowa /
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Carolina Panthers
(Mark Konezny-USA TODAY Sports) Jerry Hughes /

Carolina Panthers could target Jerry Hughes

Obviously signing someone like Jerry Hughes would be a short-term option and not much else for the Carolina Panthers. But that is all they would probably need given the options already available on the depth chart.

Hughes entered the league as a first-round pick back in 2010, going on to have a successful career with both the Indianapolis Colts and Buffalo Bills. He has experience as a defensive end or an outside linebacker – versatility that is often highly valued by the Panthers based on their recruitment since Matt Rhule took over as head coach.

With 58 sacks, 82 tackles for loss, and 112 quarterback hits throughout his time in the league, Hughes would provide a valuable depth chart piece for the Panthers and also give younger members of the locker room an experienced figure to lean on for advice and guidance.

Yet another big element of this potential acquisition that could benefit the organization.

Whether someone like Hughes is waiting for a chance to land on a contender rather than accepting the role Carolina might be able to offer is undetermined. But if the Panthers do end up seeking assistance on their pass-rush, there are far worse avenues to go down.

No team can ever have enough players capable of getting after the quarterback. And replicating the 111 sacks Haason Reddick managed to accumulate last time around is a huge task.