The Carolina Panthers haven’t come out and said that they are searching for a veteran edge rusher, but many in the fanbase believe that this is still an area of need. On Monday, one of those veteran options came off the board when Leonard Floyd signed with the Buffalo Bills on a one-year deal. If the Panthers are going to find that edge rusher, it will have to come from a group that doesn’t have nearly the history that Floyd has in the Ejiro Evero system.
Later in the afternoon, the details of his deal were released by NFL Network reporter Ian Rapaport. Floyd signed a one-year, $9 million dollar deal with the Bills, a deal that would have been more than manageable for a Panther team that has the second-most cap space available.
On Tuesday, Mac and Bone reacted to the deal and their frustrations with the team not attempting to match it. “I would have liked to have seen the Panthers go to like a $10 million base salary,” Mac said this morning. “I would have offered a second year. I would have done like two-year, $16 million.” Bone shared in his sentiments. “He would have fit in perfectly, so what stopped the Panthers? Maybe they knew he had his heart set on Buffalo or another team.”
So now the question becomes what happens next? Mac is worried that the team will stick with the group that they have currently, but there is a good group of available pass rushers still available. Here are a few names that the guys talked about today and yesterday that might be worth a look from the Panthers, though, on that veteran market.
Kyle Van Noy
This was a name that was brought up for the first time on Tuesday and if you look at it, it makes a ton of sense. Van Noy is just 32 years old, which is one of the younger options out there, and has tallied 5.0 or more sacks in four straight seasons. He would not be limited to pass-rushing snaps the way that some of the other options would be either, posting a career run defense grade of 64.7 according to Pro Football Focus.
Ngakoue is the name that has been most synonymous with this conversation alongside Floyd and from a pass-rushing standpoint, it makes a lot of sense. He has finished every season of his career with 8.0 or more sacks and eight or more tackles for loss in every season but his first. The problem is, Ngakoue is a limited player because of his struggles as a run defender. PFF has graded out at a 44.9 in run defense, including two seasons that were sub-30s.
This one seems like a really good idea if you just look at his production. While his sack numbers aren’t nearly what they were at the end of 2010s, he has still been extremely impactful as both a pass rusher and run defender according to PFF. The off-the-field issues are why he isn’t talked about more with this conversation. Clark was suspended two games last season for violating the leagues personal conduct policy stemming from him pleading no contest in September to two counts of misdemeanor possession of an assault weapon in separate incidents in 2021. He was also arrested back in 2014 for domestic violence while a part of the Michigan football team and pleaded guilty to disorderly conduct, but had the assault charges dropped.
It feels like every offseason this name comes up, but is he honestly worth the hassle? The reports out of Cleveland weren’t exactly complimentary of him in terms of his attitude in the locker room and the production wasn’t good enough to overshadow it. He finished with just 2.0 sacks and four tackles for loss, leading to the question of if he has hit the wall as a pass rusher.
A year ago, this wouldn’t have been the most flashy name after two down years that had some wondering if he had hit a wall. He bounced back, though, this past season in Miami, totaling 6.0 sacks and 29 quarterback hurries. He has always been a complete edge rusher, so even if he is limited because of his age, he can be productive in any scenario.
Quinn is another guy that some have asked whether or not he has hit that wall after what was easily the worst season of his career. Just a year after finishing with 18.5 sacks and being named an All-Pro, he had just 10 total tackles and 1.0 sack while playing the fewest snaps of his career between Chicago and Philadelphia. He is also limited as a run defender, so would he be able to find that groove as a pass rusher again?
Like many of the guys on this list, Houston is a great fit for the 3-4 front, but age is a factor. Despite being 34 years old, he is coming off a season in Baltimore where he had 9.5 sacks in 306 pass rush snaps. If the Panthers are looking for someone to help on those pass-rushing downs, this could be a solid addition, but they might need to add a more complete player than that opposite of Brian Burns.
HEAR MAC & BONE’S FULL LIST OF OPTIONS AND MUCH MORE
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