The Carolina Panthers have been relatively quiet this offseason aside from their plethora of cap saving moves that included the release of several players including Tre Boston, Stephen Weatherly, and Kawann Short, but one good thing that came out of their fire sale is the addition of linebacker Denzel Perryman. Perryman is a 5-foot-11 linebacker who spent the 2020 season as a member of the Los Angeles Chargers.
Perryman inked a two-year deal with the Panthers this offseason and he will change teams for the first time in his NFL career. Perryman, 28, is an experienced linebacker who could help add some talent to the needy Carolina defense.
The Panthers do have some great talent on their defense with linebacker Shaq Thompson and defensive end Brian Burns as well and Perryman is going to help anchor the unit. The Panthers have struggled finding a viable replacement for Luke Kuechly since he announced his sudden retirement last offseason and Perryman was signed in an effort to help regain some stability at the linebacker position.
Perryman is the one name the Panthers headlined as an offseason acquisition thus far and he could have a huge impact on the defense.
Let’s take a look at three way too early bold predictions for new Panthers linebacker Denzel Perryman.
Number One: 100 Tackle Season
The staple of the Panthers’ defense is finding linebackers who can tackle and make athletic plays on the defensive side of the ball. The Panthers hit the nail on the head with the addition of Perryman, who can do anything asked of him.
One of the many predictions I have for Denzel Perryman is that he will record 100 or more tackles for the Panthers. I’m not saying Perryman will have the same level of production that Kuechly had for the Panthers, but I do think he will muster up a career year for the Panthers. Perryman’s career high for total tackles in a season is 73, but if he’s used correctly he should have ample opportunities to make a multitude of plays.
Perryman may not be a major name on defense for the Panthers, but that could change if he records a 100-tackle season this upcoming year. He could see the largest role of his entire career in 2021 and reaching the 100-tackle plateau for the first time in his career doesn’t seem too far-fetched.
Number Two: Play Every Game
My second bold prediction for Panthers’ linebacker Denzel Perryman in 2021 is that he will play every game. The NFL is expected to increase their schedule to 17 regular season games, so he will have to play all 17 games in order for this prediction to come to fruition, but I think it could happen.
Perryman has never played every game in a season before, but I think that will change. Perryman usually stays around the 13 game range per season due to a few injury hiccups here and there, but with some great talent around him and a new system that prides themselves on player safety, Perryman could stick around for every game in 2021.
We’ve seen several players in the NFC South stick around for all the regular season games throughout the years and it’s likely a mix between southern hospitality and increased safety protocols. In all seriousness, Perryman is primed to have a career year for the Panthers in 2021 and that could be headlined with him being a staple of the defense week in and week out.
Number Three: Record Five Or More Sacks
Some people look at five sacks and don’t blink twice, but for a guy like Perryman, that would be a career year. Perryman hasn’t been a big sack guy through his career to this point, only mustering up five total sacks in his NFL career, but that could all change with a change of scenery.
Denzel Perryman has always been labeled as a tackle first guy who doesn’t get a lot of opportunities to rush the passer. While he hasn’t gotten many pass rushing attempts, that doesn’t mean he won’t get them in Carolina. The Panthers have always prided themselves on having dual-threat linebackers who can tackle and rush the passer and that may be what attracted Perryman to the Panthers in the first place.
He may only have five sacks in his NFL career thus far, but that could certainly change in 2021. If Carolina gives Perryman some opportunities to pursue the passer, be on the lookout for him to equal his career sack total in 2021.