Mark J. Rebilas/USA TODAY

Which Free Agents Left on the Market Might Interest the Carolina Panthers?

The Carolina Panthers have typically waited for the dust to settle in free agency before they go to work. These are some players left on the free agent market that might interest the Panthers.

Brandon Boykin, CB

The Carolina Panthers have already said they will try moving Bene Benwikere, last year's starting slot cornerback, outside. The team has yet to re-sign Cortland Finnegan, who replaced an injured Benwikere at the end of the year, which will most likely create a hole in the secondary.

A player like Brandon Boykin would be an excellent addition for this defense, however he may still command a bigger contract even in the second week of free agency. 

Boykin was drafted in the fourth round in 2012 by the Philadelphia Eagles and his best season came in 2013 when he finished with 47 total tackles and six interceptions. However, his numbers have slowly declined and the Eagles traded Boykin before last season across the state to the Pittsburgh Steelers.

However, Boykin struggled with the Steelers and according to Scout's Jim Wexell, the coaches said Boykin struggled to grasp the defense and that was the reason for his lack of playing time earlier in the season. This may be the reason that Boykin is still on the free agent market.

GM Dave Gettleman has never spent big money at cornerback and tends to sign veterans, who are near the end of their careers. A player like Boykin would make sense to break that trend being only 25 years of age and could solidify the slot corner position for a number of years.

Kyle Love, DT

The Panthers have been aggressive this offseason making sure to bring back their own free agents which has allowed them sit back more once the free agent market opened. The biggest free agent left they need to sign is defensive tackle Kyle Love.

The defensive tackle position is rather thin with only two defensive tackles currently under contract (Kawann ShortStar Lotulelei) from last year's team with the release of Dwan Edwards

The Panthers signed Love during the 2014 season and he served primarily as a backup but did start for Lotulelei in the playoff game against the Seattle Seahawks last year. He saw his role expand this year and he tied his career high in sacks with three.

The return of Love would make sense considering he has already proven he can play well in this defense and even start if the need arises. This is one move that makes too much sense not to happen.

Henry Melton, DT

Even if the team is able to re-sign Love, they will most likely be looking to add another defensive tackle this offseason. Henry Melton, who played with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers last season, would be another player that would fit well in this defense.

Melton is a former Pro Bowl defensive tackle and had 13 sacks over a two-year span with the Chicago Bears and after an injury cut his 2013 season short, he joined the Dallas Cowboys in 2014. He bounced back from his injury and had two forced fumbles and five sacks but the Cowboys decided not to pick up his three-year option and he became a free agent last offseason.

He signed a one-year deal with the Bucs and proved to be an excellent back-up for their defense. This is a role that he could excel in for the Panthers, providing some depth and solidifying the position.

Bryan Anger, P

The only Panthers' free agent that signed with another team at this point is punter Brad Nortman, who is heading to the Jacksonville Jaguars on a four-year deal. The Panthers will now need to figure out what to do at the punter position.

The team did sign Swayze Waters from the CFL last month as an insurance if Nortman was to leave but the team will still be looking for another punter to provide competition at the position. If they look to address this need through free agency Bryan Anger, the Jaguars former punter, would make sense.

The Jaguars famously drafted Anger one pick before Russell Wilson in the 2012 NFL Draft and while he has not had a career like Wilson, he has been an above average punter. Pro Football Focus rated him as the third best kicker/punter on the free agent market this offseason.

3. Bryan Anger, P

2015 team: Jacksonville Jaguars

While he will always be remembered as the punter that was selected ahead of Russell Wilson in 2012, he’s received a top-12 grade amongst punters in three of his four seasons. In 2014, he finished second in the league in gross average (47.3 yards per punt), while in 2015, he cut his touchbacks down from the 10 he had in 2014 to four.

Twitter @BrandonCroce.

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


Panther Insider Top Stories