QB remains atop Panthers’ wish list entering free agency

CAROLINA PANTHERS (5-11)

UNRESTRICTED FREE AGENTS: OT Taylor Moton (franchise tag), WR Curtis Samuel, RB Mike Davis, OT Russell Okung, G John Miller, FB Alex Armah, CB Rasul Douglas, CB Corn Elder, LS J.J. Jansen, WR Pharoh Cooper, C Tyler Larsen, TE Chris Manhertz, G Chris Reed, OL Michael Schofield, LB Julian Stanford, LB Adarius Taylor, LB Tahir Whitehead.

RESTRICTED FREE AGENTS: DE Efe Obada.

NEEDS: The Panthers are actively in pursuit of a quarterback, and Deshaun Watson is presumably owner David Tepper’s top target should the Texans QB become available via trade. Much of what Carolina does in free agency will depend on how the Watson storyline plays out, as the Panthers would need to send multiple draft picks and existing players in return to land that type of franchise QB. Carolina has the No. 8 pick in the draft, so QB is definitely an option there. If they can’t land Watson, Teddy Bridgewater would be back as a starter and potential mentor. “Teddy is our quarterback and he’s a total pro,” GM Scott Fitterer said of Bridgewater. The Panthers used the franchise tag on Moton but still need to upgrade their offensive and defensive lines and cornerback. They would love to re-sign the versatile Samuel, but may not have the cap space to do that.

AVAILABLE SALARY CAP SPACE (approximately): $30 million.

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