The Carolina Panthers are one of the teams involved in the quarterback carousel going on this offseason in the NFL. The team is looking to move on from Teddy Bridgewater, whom they signed during the last offseason. They have their eyes set on Deshaun Watson, as many other teams around the NFL do.
No matter who is under center for the Panthers in 2021, it wouldn’t hurt to surround them with more weapons. The team is in need of an upgrade at the tight end spot, something they can fill with their first-round pick if they are unable to acquire Watson, or in free agency. Curtis Samuel, who was a jack of all trades for Carolina, is set to hit free agency and isn’t expected to return to the team.
This year’s crop of free agents is deep at wide receiver, so the options will be plentiful when it comes to potentially replacing Samuel. If the team wants to take a shot on a receiver who looks like he just needs a consistent opportunity to break out, they could look into Rashad Higgins of the Cleveland Browns.
Spotrac believes that Rashard Higgins will land with the Panthers and projects the two sides to agree on a three-year, $15 million deal. It is a nice increase in salary for Higgins, who earned $910,000 with the Browns last season.
Rashard Higgins has shown the ability to produce when given the chance. He stepped in admirably after Odell Beckham Jr. was injured during the seventh game of the season. For the season, Higgins caught 37 passes for 599 yards and four touchdowns. Those numbers will be difficult to replicate he stays around.
Beckham is expected to return from injury and Jarvis Landry is already in place. Donovan Peoples-Jones also earned a bigger role with his play down the final stretch of the season. Kareem Hunt is a legitimate option out of the backfield and Austin Hooper was signed a four-year, $42 million deal last offseason. That is a lot of mouths to feed for a run-first offense.
In Carolina, there is a clear path to immediate playing time. He would step into the No. 3 role at first but could see that role grow in Year 2 if they decline to pick up D.J. Moore’s fifth-year option and Robby Anderson entering unrestricted free agency.
While there isn’t much room to grow in Cleveland. Carolina could give him the opportunity to blossom and hit free agency again to cash in before he turns 30. He will be a name to watch in NFL rumors as the time approaches.