Carolina Panthers urged to bolster options with veteran edge rusher

Could this be a potential option for the Carolina Panthers?
Ejiro Evero
Ejiro Evero / Jacob Kupferman/GettyImages

Dan Morgan's roster revamp doesn't end here. The general manager has done a tremendous job of removing deadwood from the squad and finding the sort of characters that fit his way of thinking. There is a lot of hard work ahead, but the Carolina Panthers are in a better place following a frantic few months of recruitment.

Although the Panthers have a chance to be more competitive under new head coach Dave Canales next season, this was never going to be an instant fix. Morgan's freely admitted that all of Carolina's problems aren't going to be solved in one offseason. Looking at the current state of affairs, there are a few glaring holes that could hold the team back in 2024.

Morgan wants to be aggressive on the waiver wire before the campaign. There are also some intriguing veterans remaining on the market who could be solid additions if the money is right for all parties.

Carolina Panthers urged to sign Yannick Ngakoue in free agency

This was a topic brought up by Enzo Flojo from Clutch Points, who urged the Panthers to bring edge rusher Yannick Ngakoue into the franchise. Something that would give defensive coordinator Ejiro Evero another weapon in pass-rushing situations to go alongside Jadeveon Clowney and D.J. Wonnum.

"First and foremost, the [Carolina] Panthers must target veteran edge rusher Yannick Ngakoue. Ngakoue’s ability to pressure quarterbacks and disrupt offensive plays makes him an invaluable asset for any defense. Remember that he has recorded nearly 8.0 sacks per season over 2021-2023, maintaining his reputation as one of the league’s premier pass rushers. Take note that the Panthers’ defense struggled to generate consistent pressure last season. They would benefit immensely from Ngakoue’s presence. His quick first step and relentless motor could transform Carolina’s front seven into a feared unit. He would complement fellow veteran Shaq Thompson and fill the void left by Luvu, who's now with the Commanders. Securing Ngakoue would not only improve their pass rush. It would also uplift the entire defense’s performance."

The Panthers are desperately short of edge rushing depth. They traded Brian Burns to the New York Giants and also lost the services of Yetur Gross-Matos and Frankie Luvu in free agency. Unless one of their young players leaps forward this offseason, Clowney and Wonnum will be under real pressure to stay healthy and provide the consistency needed.

Ngakoue is still an explosive presence flying off the edge. With 69 sacks in eight seasons, he's one of the better options remaining on the market, although his production did seem to take a step back with the Chicago Bears in 2023.

While the benefits of acquiring Ngakoue are obvious, some concerns probably make this move a non-starter all things considered. The Pro Bowler is not the best run defender, which means it's difficult to put him in anything other than a pass-rushing rotational role within Evero's 3-4 base scheme. This sort of reduced depth chart standing isn't what the player is looking for.

Then, there's the financial aspect. The Panthers aren't exactly flush with space cash. Signing someone like Ngakoue isn't going to be cheap, so Morgan will likely seek alternatives if he feels like most help on the edge is required before competitive action resumes once again.

Whichever way Morgan decides to go, acquiring another reliable veteran to put with Clowney and Wonnum wouldn't be the worst idea in the world. Just don't bet on it being Ngakoue.