5 potential X-factors for the Carolina Panthers in 2022

(Jim Dedmon-USA TODAY Sports) Tommy Tremble
(Jim Dedmon-USA TODAY Sports) Tommy Tremble /
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Carolina Panthers
(Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports) Cory Littleton /

Carolina Panthers. CORY LITTLETON. 3. player. 87. . LB

Cory Littleton – Carolina Panthers LB

There was little fanfare about the free-agent signing of Cory Littleton. He arrived on the cheap and was inconsistent for the Las Vegas Raiders in 2021 despite going over 100 tackles, so fans were right to remain on the cautious side about what he could potentially bring to the Carolina Panthers.

Finding the right solutions across the linebacker unit has been difficult for the Panthers since Luke Kuechly retired and Thomas Davis departed. It’s all change across the second level once again this time around aside from Shaq Thompson, which could see Littleton earn a prominent spot on the rotation or even the starting lineup depending on what transpires following Damien Wilson’s recent arrest.

Littleton does have some struggles against the run, which isn’t ideal. However, he excels in coverage, which the Panthers should put to good use in obvious passing situations.

Expectations are relatively low for Littleton and it’s hard to gauge just what his ceiling might be in Carolina until we see him on the field. But the possibility of the player enjoying a renaissance under Phil Snow cannot be ruled out.

His Pro Bowl campaign with the Los Angeles Rams in 2018 seems like a long time ago now. Littleton has the talent, so anything he can give the Panthers will be a bonus considering how much they’ve struggled for consistency since Kuechly hung up his cleats.