- Josh Scott
Carolina Panthers 2021 Free Agency Signings
Updated: Mar 25, 2021
After a slow start, the Carolina Panthers are making the most out of the 2021 offseason so far. Newly-appointed General Manager Scott Fitterer has done his best in sticking to his motto of "being involved in every deal." Let's analyze and grade this set of free agency signings for the franchise based in the Queen City:
OT Taylor Moton - A+
The Panthers made a great start to the free agency period by franchise-tagging fourth-year right tackle Taylor Moton. The franchise-tag is worth up to $14 million. Moton has established himself as the best offensive lineman that the Panthers currently have and one of the best offensive tackles in the league. He only allowed three sacks on 1,032 offensive snaps in 2020. Entering his fifth NFL season, Moton has never missed a game. While many believe Moton deserves a long-term contract right now, franchise-tagging him gives the Panthers more time to come up with a long-term deal soon.
OG John Miller - A
Along with Moton and starting center Matt Paradis, Miller comes back to Carolina on a one-year deal as a much-needed returning offensive-line starter. Miller was consistent at the guard position, allowing only three sacks on Teddy Bridgewater last season. Carolina will look for Miller to repeat his success in 2021.
OG Pat Elflien - D
The former Minnesota Viking and New York Jet signed with the Panthers on a three-year, $11.5 million deal, which guarantees six million. I give this signing a grade of D for depth. Elflien's track record of not being consistent shows on the highlight reel in his time with the Vikings and the Jets. In four seasons as an NFL guard, Elflien has allowed 16 sacks, six of which came in 2019. However, he brings versatility (by being able to play both the center and guard positions) to a Panthers team in desperate need of offensive line depth.
OT Cam Erving - C
The former Dallas Cowboy signed with the Panthers on a two-year, $10 million deal. Erving plays at left tackle- a huge need for the Panthers right now, which is why I give this signing a slightly higher grade than Elflien's. Erving hasn't exactly impressed, accounting for 16 allowed sacks since starting his NFL career in 2015. Like Elflien, however, Erving brings offensive line versatility to the Panthers by being able to play tackle and guard.
LB Denzel Perryman - B
The former Los Angelos Charger inked out a two-year, six-million-dollar deal with the Panthers, which guarantees three million. This signing is considered to be a sneaky-good pickup for the Panthers. Perryman is coming off arguably his best season at the linebacker position despite playing just 317 total snaps. Perryman is excepted to take over for Tahir Whitehead at MLB. Whitehead took over for the now-retired Luke Kuechly last season.
LB/DE Haason Reddick - A
The former Arizona Cardinal agreed to a two-year, eight-million-dollar deal (six million guaranteed) with Carolina. Reddick reunites with Matt Rhule, his former head coach at Temple University. The Cardinals assigned Reddick to the linebacker position in his first three years with the team, which led to good but not great productivity. However, after moving him to defensive end in 2020, Reddick had a major breakout season accounting for 12.5 sacks and six forced fumbles. Reddick will look to repeat his head-turning success in 2021.
DE Morgan Fox - A
The former Los Angeles Ram signed a two-year, eight-million-dollar deal, guaranteeing seven million, with Carolina. Like Perryman, Fox's signing is considered to be an underrated one. In four years with the Rams, Fox has accounted for 10.5 sacks, six of which came last season. Fox should make a valuable depth piece in the edge-rushers group for Carolina.
WR David Moore - B+
The former Seattle Seahawk agreed to a two-year, $4.75 million deal, guaranteeing 1.25 million. Moore joins D.J. Moore as the second wide receiver for Carolina with the last name Moore. The former seventh-round draft pick has been a reliable target for Russell Wilson in three years with the Seahawks, accounting for 1,163 receiving yards and 13 touchdowns. Moore, a deep-threat receiver, quickly replaces Curtis Samuel, who signed with the Washington Football Team last week.
TE Dan Arnold - B+
The former New Orleans Saint and Arizona Cardinal signed a two-year, six million dollar deal with the Panthers. Arnold comes to Carolina fresh off his best season statistically, accounting for 438 receiving yards and four touchdowns. The 6'6", 220-pound tight end made some impressive leaping catches last season and was considered to be a valuable red-zone target.
CB Rashaan Melvin - C+
The seventh-year cornerback signed a one-year deal with Carolina making the Panthers the sixth different team he has started for. Melvin had a career-high 68 total tackles in 2020, playing for the Detroit Lions, and 11 pass breakups. Melvin brings experience and a veteran presence into a very youthful and inexperienced cornerback room in Carolina.