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1st round 8th pick
The Panthers have already used the Free Agency to sign some players for the upcoming season. We, Kevin on offense and David on defense, introduce you to the new faces in Coach Matt Rhule's team and give you a forecast of what role they could play in the team. You can find information about the players who have already played with us and have now been resigned in the article "Free Agents 2021 - who should stay, who can go?" Here go to the article.
The Panthers probably have the biggest needs in the offense in the O-Line. But the skill positions have also lost their depth, so that there is also some catching up to do here. In the following we go through the positions in the offense where something has happened in the free agency market.
Cameron (Cam) Erving (OT, Dallas Cowboys)
- 28 years, 6 years NFL experience, Florida State University
- 2 year contract up to $ 10 million, $ 8,000,000 guaranteed
- Stats 2020: 6 games played, 5 of which started as a left tackle
- Seasonal due to a sprain of the knee joint
Erving was drafted in 2015 by the Cleveland Browns in 19th place. At Florida State University, he played both center and left tackle. He is the two-time winner of the Jacobs Blocking Trophy and has landed on the "All ACC" team for consecutive years, both as left tackle and center.
He played for the Browns center and on both Offensive guard Positions. In total, he was on the field for the Browns 29 times and was allowed to start 17 times.
During the 2017-2019 seasons, he racked up minutes for the Kansas City Chiefs. In 2017-2018 he played predominantly as the right guard and in 2019 as the left tackle. In total, he started 25 times for the team from Missouri, which recorded the most passing yards in the 2018 season and allowed the third fewest sacks in 2019.
Erving was absent from the Dallas Cowboys early in the 2020 season due to knee problems. After replacing the left tackle Tyron Smith, he injured his knee again and was out for the remainder of the season.
As Cam Erving's profile already shows, the Panthers have acquired an all-purpose weapon for the O-Line. He has already gained NFL experience in every position and always at a good level. This feature is particularly valuable because the Panthers' O-Line has not yet been found correctly and, apart from the positions of the center and the right tackle, one does not yet know which player can start where.
If he does a good training camp and stays healthy, he will compete in the raffle for the left tackle spot with Dennis Daley and Greg Little and have a good chance. The losers of the duel could then focus on the offensive guard's place.
Pat Elflein (OG, New York Jets)
- 27 years, 4 years NFL experience, Ohio State University
- 3 year contract, up to $ 13,500,000, $ 6,000,000 guaranteed
- Stats 2020: 7 games played, 7 of which started as left guard
- Season out because of a thumb injury
Like Cam Erving, Pat Elflein brings a lot Experience And also flexibility With. In college, he began as a left guard, moved to the right guard and then found himself at the end of the position of the center. As a center, he received the Rimington Award as the best college center.
He was selected as the 70th pick by the Minnesota Vikings in 2017. There he changed positions the other way around. He started his career as a center and was elected to the PFWA All-Rookie Team. While he started the 2019 season as a left guard, he switched to the guard position on the other side in 2020. After a game for the Vikings, he was released in the direction of New York.
Elflein actually has everything to get the starting job in the O-Line. Not only can he dress both sides as guard, he could also be the backup for Matt Paradis. Elflein has started every game in his professional career, except for once, and played at a high level (bowl games in college, playoffs in the NFL).
Some injuries threw him back. If he has regenerated sufficiently, he will be a reinforcement for us. Signing two flexible and seasoned O-liners was a clever move by the Panthers.
Darius Clark (RB, Newberry College)
- No NFL experience
- 1 year contract
Clark was not signed by any team after completing his college career. At Newberry College he got 384 rushing yards, 264 receiving yards and 397 yards on kick return.
Since then he has kept himself fit and has now been spotted and signed by the Panthers at a camp for free agents (HUB Football Camp).
Clark is a relatively tall and physically strong running back. He will now be able to present himself at the professional level in the training camp and is fighting for one of the last free places in the RB position.
Dan Arnold (TE, Arizona Cardinals)
- 26 years, 4 years NFL experience, Wisconsin-Platteville (Division III)
- 2 year contract, up to $ 6,000,000, $ 4,500,000 guaranteed
- Stats 2020: 31 passes caught, 438 yards, 4 touchdowns
Dan Arnold played as a wide receiver at a Division III college. In 2017 he was signed by the New Orleans Saints as an undrafted free agent. What is worth knowing here is that he spent 2 years with the then "Offensive Assistant" of the Saints, Joe Brady, worked together. However, his breakout season was only in his 4th year in the NFL, then with the Cardinals from Arizona.
Arnold can definitely be described as a "receiving threat". This profession fell a little asleep with the Panthers last year. Thomas and Manhertz scored just once together a touchdown.
It is to be expected that Dan Arnold will often be wanted by the quarterback (whoever he is) of the Panthers. Carolina takes little risk for the price and potential. As of now, he will likely overtake Ian Thomas. Further commitments in this position are likely, however, as there is nominally no TE that is strong at blocking.
Stephen Sullivan (TE, Seattle Seahawks)
- 24 years, 1 year NFL experience, Louisiana State University
- 1 year contract, $ 660,000 base salary, no guarantees
- Stats 2020: 1 game played, no receptions
Sullivan played under OC Joe Brady at LSU in 2019 and was selected by the Seahawks in the 7th round of the draft. In college he was still a wide receiver for the first two years. In his final season, he retrained to tight end, scoring 130 yards in 6 games. At 1.96m, he is a tall passport recipient, also considered a tight end by the Seahawks.
The young tight end is still at the beginning of its development. His commitment shows that either Brady, Scott Fitterer or both of them see potential in him. Sullivan is an athlete who has not yet found his position and role. That is why he was trained as a defensive end with the Seahawks, among other things. It is worth trying to test him out at training camp, as the TE position is thin and Joe Brady might have one role or another for him.
David Moore (WR, Seattle Seahawks)
- 26 years, 4 years NFL experience, East Central University (Division II)
- 2 year contract, up to $ 4,750,000, $ 1,250,000 guaranteed
- Stats 2020: 35 passes caught, 417 yards, 6 touchdowns; 61 rushing yards, no touchdown
After all, David Moore has worked at Seattle for 3 years 13 times be able to bring the ball into the end zone. While he wasn't QB Russell Wilson's number 1 or 2 target, this statistic is worth seeing. This puts Moore in 6th place in the NFL in terms of the ratio between receptions and touchdowns (at least 10 TDs) since 2018.
Moore could embody the WR 3 that we lost in Curtis Samuel. It will probably not be a 1 to 1 replacement, but it has already caused a stir with many good catches, especially on deep passes. Our GM Scott Fitterer Moore drew in the 7th round in 2017 and is convinced of his potential. He could be a surprise this season if you involve him properly.
Matt Ammendola (K, Oklahoma State University)
- 24 years, no NFL experience
- Scored 60 field goals from 78 attempts (76.9%)
- He got 179 of 183 extra points after touchdown
Ammendola led the BIG 12 Conference in his Senior Year in Field Goals and scored points.
Ammendola is supposed to Joey Slye deliver a competition in the training camp, as it cannot be developed well without competition. Slye, who is not always firmly in the saddle, should have the edge, but should improve compared to last season.
The Panthers tried to serve their obvious needs with flexible players. Because of the many gaps in the O-Line, players have been added who can hold multiple positions. The tight end position was filled with Arnold, who is strong in passing. Nonetheless, either the draft or the Free Agency will have to add more. Since the draft class is again occupied with strong wide receivers, one can hope for a good commitment here. The quarterback question and the density of the O-Line could also be addressed in the draft. We can stay excited.
In the very young Panthers Defense, reinforcements had to be brought in on all three levels due to expiring contracts and sometimes surprising dismissals. Something had to be done, especially on the defensive front, but support would also do well in the secondary. Below we take a look at the players the Panthers signed for the defensive side of the ball.
Rashaan Melvin (CB, Jacksonville Jaguars)
- 31 years, 8 years of NFL experience, Northern Illinois
- 1 year contract at currently unknown conditions
- Stats 2020: suspended due to Corona
Melvin joined the NFL as an undrafted free agent and was signed by the Tampa Bay Buccaneers in 2013. In the following years he became a wanderer in the NFL and changed teams regularly. After his time in Tampa Bay, he was under contract with the Dolphins, Ravens and Patriots until he joined the Colts in 2016.
With the Colts, he went beyond the role of a backup for the first time and played in 15 games, of which he started 9. In the following season he was the starting cornerback of the Colts and collected the first three interceptions
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