For the first time in a long time, the offensive line isn’t at least one of the Carolina Panthers’ most embarrassing weaknesses. But that doesn’t mean they don’t have work to do there this offseason.
Here are four free-agent linemen the Panthers should consider signing.
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There’s really not much that has to be said about the man Panthers fans have dubbed the “White Rhino.”
Bozeman—who took over for an injured Pat Elflein at center beginning in Week 7—helped establish a nasty, ground-and-pound identity for the offense and brought together what was the team’s best trench in a while. And for that, the 28-year-old should be the top priority amongst their own free agents.
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If they somehow whiff on Bozeman, Bradbury is awfully close in playing style and projected price.
Like Big Bradley, Big Bradbury is a bulldozer in the ground game—having never registered a run-blocking grade below a 61.9 from Pro Football Focus in any of his four seasons. He’s also relatively young at 27 years old, making him a long-term option in helping solidify the entire starting front.
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You probably thought this suggestion would’ve been crazy a year ago. But sometimes, familiarity trumps all.
Erving served in a depth role for Carolina last season, appearing only in jumbo packages. But his five-position versatility and chemistry with the rest of the group make for a pretty decent backup option—something that’s extremely difficult to find in today’s NFL.
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Speaking of familiarity, remember this hog molly?
With starting guards Brady Christensen and Austin Corbett rehabbing from offseason surgeries, the Panthers may have to start the year without one or both men. That uncertain situation could get even cloudier if Carolina loses out Bozeman or another free-agent center, leaving the duties back to Elflein.
If that’s the case, Turner—who started in 12 games for Ron Rivera’s Washington Commanders this past season—could be a cheap plug option. The 30-year-old is obviously not the Pro Bowl-caliber talent he once was, but he’s capable of holding down the fort until the starters return.
Story originally appeared on Panthers Wire