Bob Donnan/USA TODAY

Carolina Panthers' Free Agency Preview: Right Tackle

The Carolina Panthers saw tremendous improvement in production from their offensive tackle positions in 2015, up until Super Bowl 50. The team will now need to figure out how they improve the position and decide if they want to bring back their starting right tackle, Mike Remmers, who is a restricted free agent. Brandon Croce discusses this as well as potential replacements on the free agent market.

Panthers' Free Agents

The Carolina Panthers have one player at right tackle who will become a free agent, Mike Remmers. The team's starting right tackle will actually become a restricted free agent, which essentially means if the team tenders him an offer they will have "first right to refusal." This means that if Remmers signs an offer sheet with another team, the Panthers would have five days to match that contract.

The Panthers' signed Remmers during the 2014 season off the Rams' practice squad and after an injury to Nate Chandler, Remmers stepped in as the starter. He has held that role since and started the past 26 games, including the playoffs. 

He has played well over that stretch and faced some of the top pass rushers in the league, including J.J. Watt. However, he struggled in Super Bowl 50 against Von Miller, who went on to be named the game's MVP. This may give the team pause to match a contract that Remmers is offered and this could be the deciding factor in whether or not he is back next season.

If the Panthers decide to not bring back Remmers, there will be plenty of options in free agency to find a replacement.

Right Tackle Free Agents

Mitchell Schwartz

Scout.com's Rank: #2 Offensive Tackle

Mitchell Schwartz has started every game, 64 starts, for the Cleveland Browns since they drafted him in the second round in 2012. According to Pro Football Focus, he finished every season in the NFL with a positive rating in pass protection and three out of four years in run blocking.

While, Schwartz is probably the best right tackle in free agency, he would also most likely command the highest salary. The Panthers' have not been known to dedicate a substantial amount of money to the position for a few years now and they may be hesitant to do so here. They also drafted Daryl Williams in the fifth round last year, who could develop into the future answer for the Panthers and the team may not be looking for a long term answer.

Andre Smith

Scout.com's Rank: #6 Offensive Tackle

The Cincinnati Bengals drafted Andre Smith with the sixth overall pick in the 2009 NFL Draft and after only five starts in his first two seasons, he developed into a solid right tackle. However, he struggled a bit this past season and the Panthers could get Smith at a bargain.

This could be a great reclamation project for the Panthers, something that had some success with last season with Michael Oher. He was also a first round pick who was coming off a few down years but played well for the team during their Super Bowl run.

J'Marcus Webb

Scout.com's Rank: #8 Offensive Tackle

If the Panthers believe Daryl Williams can be a starting right tackle, signing a player like J'Marcus Webb would make sense. He would bring some versatility to this offensive line as he has primarily played offensive tackle however this past year started at right guard for the Oakland Raiders.

The addition of Webb wouldn't necessarily mean he would become the starter and would set up a good training camp battle between Webb and Williams. However, if Williams wins the job, Webb becomes excellent depth for this offensive line with experience as a starter at two positions and could step into a number of spots on the offensive line.

Prediction

While there will be plenty of options for the Panthers on the free agent market, I believe Mike Remmers will be back with the Panthers next season. However, that doesn't necessarily mean he will be the starter and Williams will have every opportunity to win the job in 2016.

For a full list of free agents, click here.

Twitter @BrandonCroce.

Follow us on Twitter @PanthersonScout and like our page on Facebook.


Panther Insider Top Stories