4 free agents the Panthers must consider after Marquis Haynes injury

(Bob Donnan-USA TODAY Sports) Marquis Haynes
(Bob Donnan-USA TODAY Sports) Marquis Haynes /
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Which free agents could the Carolina Panthers consider signing to boost their pass-rush in the wake of Marquis Haynes’ injury? 

The Carolina Panthers were short of depth across their pass-rush even before training camp. However, a concerning situation regarding Marquis Haynes means that strengthening options should be a top priority in the coming days.

Haynes went down during Saturday’s scrimmage with an apparent knee injury that forced him to be carted off. There was no update from head coach Matt Rhule after the session, but the concerns were there for all to see for a defender that the Panthers wanted to play more in 2022.

Regardless of the timeframe of Haynes’ absence, which is day to day currently, the incident only highlighted the lack of options available if one or two get injured. The Panthers delayed signing Carlos Dunlap for too long and he went to the Kansas City Chiefs, which is a situation they’d probably like to have back due to recent events.

Experience is absolutely key considering how much is at stake next season. With this in mind, here are four free agents the Panthers must consider to bolster their pass-rush in 2022.

Free-Agent No. 1

Carolina Panthers
(Jeff Lange/Akron Beacon Journal via IMAGN Content Services) Takkarist McKinley /

Carolina Panthers should consider Takkarist McKinley

If the Carolina Panthers are looking for a proven performer that’s capable of coming in and making a difference right out of the gate, then Takkarist McKinley should be on the shortlist. The defensive end might not have reached the heights expected of a first-round selection, but he could be a solid short-term option if those in power decided to bring in reinforcements.

McKinley spent last season on the Cleveland Browns, gaining 2.5 sacks from 11 appearances. His recent injury history is concerning, but it’s unlikely the Panthers would be asking the UCLA product to be anything more than a rotational figure behind Brian Burns and Yetur Gross-Matos.

The Arizona Cardinals hosted McKinley last week without a deal coming to light. So he might not be on the market for much longer.