4 worst free-agent signings under Panthers GM Scott Fitterer

(Trevor Ruszkowski-USA TODAY Sports) Scott Fitterer
(Trevor Ruszkowski-USA TODAY Sports) Scott Fitterer /
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Carolina Panthers
(Bob Donnan-USA TODAY Sports) Pat Elflein /

Pat Elflein – Carolina Panthers C

When the legal tampering period began in 2021, the Carolina Panthers wasted no time in identifying Pat Elflein as a player of significant interest. This saw the offensive lineman sign a lucrative three-year deal that many believed was far more than his recent production dictated.

Elflein was waived by the Minnesota Vikings and didn’t do enough to generate any further interest from the New York Jets. So for the Panthers to quickly snap up the former Ohio State standout was bizarre at the time and even more so now.

To nobody’s surprise, Elflein was lackluster as a guard. His production resembled a human turnstile and something that caused endless complications for quarterback Sam Darnold during his first season under center.

In fairness to Elflein, his performance levels increased when installed into a position where he thrived in college. The veteran looked more comfortable at the center spot and although it was far from perfect, it represented a step in the right direction.

Elflein’s campaign was cut short in 2022 through injury and Bradley Bozeman seized the chance. Something that could lead to an early release providing an extension can be reached with the Alabama product before free agency commences.