Veteran free-agent suggestion is a non-starter for Carolina Panthers

This doesn't make much sense in the circumstances.
Dalton Risner
Dalton Risner / Isaiah J. Downing-USA TODAY Sports

The Carolina Panthers spared no expense in pursuit of providing Bryce Young with cleaner pockets in 2024. He spent most of his rookie campaign behind woeful protection and suffered accordingly. Dan Morgan wouldn't leave anything to chance after the franchise committed to the quarterback at No. 1 overall in the 2023 NFL Draft.

Robert Hunt and Damien Lewis will form Carolina's new starting offensive guard tandem. Austin Corbett is moving to the center position, which is a calculated risk by those in power. Taylor Moton and Ikem Ekwonu are the bookend edge presences, although the latter has some serious questions to answer following a sophomore campaign to forget.

While this starting five looks to be upgraded, there are still concerns about depth. Carolina endured some horrid luck on the injury front in this critical area of the field last season. Brady Christensen's return to health should help, but dependable options are thin on the ground despite Yosh Nijman becoming the team's swing tackle.

Carolina Panthers should not pursue free-agent Dalton Risner

This is something Dan Morgan might look to address before competitive games arrive. When examining potential options for the Panthers, Enzo Flojo from Clutch Points pinpointed Dalton Risner as someone worth considering.

"Next on the list should be sturdy offensive guard Dalton Risner. His experience and versatility on the offensive line would provide an immediate upgrade to a unit that struggled with injuries and inconsistency last year. The Panthers did not draft an offensive lineman so adding a proven guard like Risner could ensure that the interior line is equally fortified. Risner is known for his robust blocking in both the run and pass game. His leadership qualities would also be invaluable in mentoring younger linemen. Risner's presence would not only enhance the line’s stability. It would also create better opportunities for the Panthers’ running backs. This could make the offense more balanced and effective."

Risner is arguably the best free-agent interior lineman remaining on the market. He spent last season with the Minnesota Vikings, giving up zero sacks and conceding three penalties from 745 offensive snaps. There's a lot to like about his production and he's still just 28 years old with a few good years left in the tank.

Weirdly, that's what makes this possibility a non-starter.

At this stage of his career and the fact he played pretty well last season aside from a few jitters, Risner is probably seeking two things the Panthers cannot provide.

A lucrative deal and the chance to start.

The Panthers aren't blessed with much to spend. They also have a huge number attached to Hunt and Lewis, which was a big tipping point in convincing two coveted free agents to join Dave Canales' exciting project. That means they'll have to rely on bargains to fill out their depth spots rather than commit another good chunk of change to someone like Risner.

If the Panthers were going to make another addition to their offensive line before Week 1 rolls around, acquiring a specialist center could be the desired path. This need becomes greater if Corbett struggles with his transition and undrafted free agent Andrew Raym isn't good enough to make the 53-man roster.

Risner is a solid player who should get another chance at some stage during the offseason. It just won't be with the Panthers unless some massive compromises are reached between both parties.