Joseph Person of the Charlotte Observer offers up some potential targets for the Panthers in both the free agent market and the draft.
It should be noted that the Panthers are in a tough position regarding their salary cap, as they’re currently $15 million over that figure. A number of roster moves are expected in the coming weeks, so they’ll most likely have to shop for value in free agency.
Canty, 30, was recently released by the Giants after they were forced to make some tough calls to remain cap compliant.
Person notes that Panthers new GM Dave Gettleman is from the Giants and Canty went to school in Charlotte, so there could be some interest between the two sides. Carolina obviously needs help at defensive tackle and Canty was a serviceable player for New York next season. Depending on how things go in free agency, Canty could be had for a reasonable sum of money.
Phillips, 26, is another player that Gettleman is more than familiar with. He missed nine games last season because of knee injury, but he would fit an area of need for the Panthers.
It’s hard to say how much he would cost, but the Panthers could save $1 million in cap space by releasing Haruki Nakamura. Phillips could find decent interest on the open market, but it will ultimately come down to the health of his knee.
Person lists Cook as a potential option as well.
The Panthers already have Greg Olsen who put together a solid season for them. Person notes that both Gary Barnidge and Ben Hartsock will be free agents, so they could use some more help at tight end.
Cook, 25, is unlikely to be back with the Titans, unless they use their franchise tag on him. Carolina’s cap issue make this seem like a long-shot given that they’ll be competing with a number of teams for him. On top of that, it’s hard to imagine Cook signing on to be someone’s backup next season.
Person lists Texas S Kenny Vaccaro, Florida DT Sharrif Floyd, Mississippi State CB Johnthan Banks, Oklahoma OT Lane Johnson and Tennessee WR Cordarrelle Patterson as players that they could target in the first round of this year’s draft.