Sam Tecklenburg – Carolina Panthers C
After fighting his way onto the roster in 2021 thanks in no small part to underperformance and injuries, Sam Tecklenburg finally got some real game-time action for the briefest of periods. The center turned out in just 131 snaps for the Carolina Panthers last season, earning a modest 62.5 grade from Pro Football Focus along the way.
Tecklenburg is another former Matt Rhule guy from Baylor who the head coach felt could become a productive NFL player with a little more development. It’s been a slow burn for the offensive lineman so far, but another prominent veteran joining the ranks this offseason means the third-year-pro now has an extremely difficult mountain to climb.
The Panthers were not going to wait around after Matt Paradis’ contract expired. They got themselves a potential bargain in the form of Bradley Bozeman from the Baltimore Ravens in free agency, who is an underrated performer who possesses the consistency Carolina has sorely lacked since the days of Ryan Kalil.
Pat Elflein is also on the books, which makes Tecklenburg’s task harder. The Ohio State product looked much more comfortable at the position he played in college and will be a solid backup in the event Bozeman is forced to miss time.
It will take a monumental effort from Tecklenburg to make the team. Achieving a spot on the practice squad is not exactly ideal, but it at least keeps the player’s foot in the door.