Jeremy Chinn - Carolina Panthers LB/S
This was a crossroads campaign for Jeremy Chinn. The former second-round pick regressed after switching to his college position on the backend. However, hopes were high that defensive coordinator Ejiro Evero could unlock the obvious potential at the player's disposal.
Chinn burst onto the scene in Year 1 of his professional career. His electrifying ability to make plays consistently from the outside linebacker position was unfortunate not to win NFL Defensive Rookie of the Year over Chase Young. Why the Panthers switched the Southern Illinois product is anyone's guess, but it was yet another personnel failure from an organization that cannot seem to get much right.
Evero stated Chinn would be a big part of his defensive strategy before the campaign. The coordinator even revealed there had been specific plays created designed to maximize his athletic attributes. These bold statements were not backed up.
As it turned out, Chinn became a rotational piece at best. His snap count went from 91 percent to 39%. An unfortunate injury before the trade deadline didn't help, but this looked like complete mismanagement of a useful weapon considering how depleted the Panthers were on defense for large parts of the season.
Fortunately for Chinn, his Panthers' hell is about to end. The player is a free agent and will likely depart. Based on comments during the team's clean-out day, he's eagerly anticipating a fresh start where he feels more wanted.
Don't be surprised if Chinn becomes the latest ex-Panthers player to excel in a different environment.