Damien Wilson – Carolina Panthers LB
After Jermaine Carter failed to prove beyond all doubt he was the long-term answer at middle linebacker in 2021, the Carolina Panthers went back to the drawing board in pursuit of finding a successor to Luke Kuechly.
Those in power chose Damien Wilson as the man to fill the void, agreeing upon a two-year, $6.9 million deal with a $2.15 million signing bonus and $3.27 million guaranteed in free agency. There is a lot to like about what he could bring to the Panthers – especially against the run – but matters away from the field could lead Carolina to release the player entirely before the campaign.
Wilson was arrested in April after his ex-girlfriend “said he threatened to kill her with a tire iron and destroyed her laptop“. These concerning allegations are something the Panthers should take seriously and they are sure to be monitoring whatever comes next closely before coming to a formal conclusion.
From a football standpoint, Wilson represents an upgrade on anything Carolina’s placed on their second-level interior since Kuechly announced his shock retirement after the 2019 season. He is a former Super Bowl winner that thrives on running downs, which is an area where the Panthers struggled down the stretch.
Carolina is taking a wait-and-see approach regarding this matter. If this evolves into something more, then Wilson will be let go without playing a snap.