When the Panthers meet the Broncos later Sunday in Super Bowl 50, there will be a handful of free agents on both teams that could be of interest to the Redskins. Earlier, Rich Tandler tackled some potential targets on the Broncos. Below, I’ll be taking a look at a few Carolina free agents that could be a fit in Washington.
- Player: CB Josh Norman
2015 cap hit: $1.6 million
Stats: 18 passes defended, 4 interceptions, 2 touchdowns, 3 forced fumbles
Comment: Ranked the sixth best corner in football this season by ProFootballFocus.com, Norman has put himself in position to snag a contract that could rival those signed by Richard Sherman and Patrick Peterson, which could mean as much as $40 million in guarantees. It’s also possible the Panthers won't let Norman hit the open market. It should also be noted that Redskins GM Scot McCloughan has said he doesn’t expect the Redskins to be “big players” in free agency. But … if there was ever a time to make an exception, the chance to land this self-confident shutdown corner could be that time. After all, cornerback easily ranks as Washington’s biggest area of need.
- Player: SS Roman Harper
2015 cap hit: $1.8 million
Stats: Started all 16 regular season games, Panthers’ 4th leading tackler, 5 passes defended, 2 fumble recoveries
Comment: Harper, whose contract is set to void, has been a solid starter in the NFL for nearly a decade. Which is good and bad. The two-time Pro Bowler is seasoned, reliable and has a Super Bowl ring that he won with the Saints, but it’s also fair to wonder how much football he’s got left. He did, however, rank fourth on the Panthers’ defense in snaps played during the regular season. McCloughan is not big on signing free agents who are on the wrong side of 30, but Harper’s experience could be a good short-term fix at a position of need.
- Player: DL Kyle Love
2015 cap hit: $745,000
Stats: 19 tackles, 3 sacks, fumble recovery
Comment: Listed a 6 foot 1, 315 pounds, Love produced three sacks and seven quarterback pressures in 370 snaps. Love started 24 games for New England in 2011 and 2012 but was cut in 2013 after being diagnosed with Type 2 diabetes. After bouncing around for a couple of years, he ended up in Carolina and appeared in 15 regular season games. He’s solid a backup who could be counted upon to start in a pinch.
- Player: FB Mike Tolbert
2015 cap hit: $3.425 million
Stats: 256 yards rushing and a touchdown, 18 receptions (on 22 targets) for 154 yards, 4 total TDs
Comment: Tolbert is one of the game’s best fullbacks and a solid special teamer, but the two time Pro Bowler (2013 and 2015) would likely cost Washington significantly more than re-signing Darrel Young, who is also a pending unrestricted free agent and well-respected at Redskins Park. And given that Young saw only seven snaps per game in ’15, the team might not see much return on their investment if they were to sign Tolbert.
Overthecap.com has the full list of Carolina’s pending free agents.