5 free agents that could help the Panthers immediately after 1-2 start

(Photo by Michael Hickey/Getty Images) Dee Ford
(Photo by Michael Hickey/Getty Images) Dee Ford /
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Carolina Panthers
(Cary Edmondson-USA TODAY Sports) Dee Ford /

Carolina Panthers could target Dee Ford

Although there are some significant injury concerns surrounding Dee Ford that are putting a lot of teams off right now, the Carolina Panthers are desperate for pass-rushing assistance opposite Brian Burns. Something that could lead to a free-agent gamble in the not-too-distant future.

Burns certainly looks the part over the opening three weeks. But the former first-round pick out of Florida State cannot do it alone and unless Yetur Gross-Matos or Marquis Haynes start producing the numbers needed consistently, Carolina might explore alternatives.

Ford was one of the best edge defenders in the business once upon a time. His 13-sack campaign and Pro Bowl appearance in 2018 resulted in a big-money move to the San Francisco 49ers, but things unraveled quickly soon after thanks to a series of unfortunate problems that kept him in the treatment room and away from the gridiron.

The former Auburn standout was medically cleared to resume football activities before the Niners parted ways. But teams are reluctant to offer him a deal given he’s featured just seven times over the last two years.

Carolina is not in any position to be fussy. Ford would provide a rotational presence and leadership within the locker room at a crucial stage, but joining a franchise unlikely to become a postseason challenger would not be the most enticing proposition, one suspects.

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