Jeremy Chinn - Carolina Panthers LB/S
Jeremy Chinn cut a forlorn and somber figure when speaking to the media during the team's clean-out day. The gifted and versatile defender seemed resigned to the fact his future lies away from the Carolina Panthers. This is a scenario not even the biggest pessimist would have anticipated after a sensational rookie season in 2020.
The mismanagement of Chinn is a microcosm of the Panthers' failings under two coaching regimes in consecutive years. Once tabbed as a cornerstone piece for future success, the former second-round selection was relegated to a rotational piece and gadget option under Ejiro Evero. Considering how many injuries Carolina's defense dealt with throughout the campaign, the situation was bemusing.
Chinn's talent is evident. The regression cannot be overlooked, but this had a lot to do with taking the player from a position where he thrived to one where his skills couldn't impact proceedings effectively. He drew rave reviews at Southern Illinois for his instinctive playmaking at the safety position. Unfortunately, this didn't transition consistently to the pros.
This lack of involvement in a contract year was extremely disappointing. The Panthers might have traded Chinn before injury struck days before the deadline. Now, he'll move elsewhere to a place where he feels wanted.
The list of former Panthers players who accomplished great things elsewhere is long. Don't be surprised if Chinn becomes the latest once his new destination of employment is confirmed.