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Panthers’ focus in free agency includes finding quarterback

March 10, 2022 GMT
FILE - Carolina Panthers kicker Zane Gonzalez (5) warms up before an NFL football game against the Washington Football Team on Sunday, Nov. 21, 2021, in Charlotte, N.C. The Carolina Panthers have re-signed kicker Zane Gonzalez to a two-year contract, Wednesday, March 9, 2022, after he helped solidify the team's kicking position last season. (AP Photo/Jacob Kupferman, File)
FILE - Carolina Panthers kicker Zane Gonzalez (5) warms up before an NFL football game against the Washington Football Team on Sunday, Nov. 21, 2021, in Charlotte, N.C. The Carolina Panthers have re-signed kicker Zane Gonzalez to a two-year contract, Wednesday, March 9, 2022, after he helped solidify the team's kicking position last season. (AP Photo/Jacob Kupferman, File)
FILE - Carolina Panthers kicker Zane Gonzalez (5) warms up before an NFL football game against the Washington Football Team on Sunday, Nov. 21, 2021, in Charlotte, N.C. The Carolina Panthers have re-signed kicker Zane Gonzalez to a two-year contract, Wednesday, March 9, 2022, after he helped solidify the team's kicking position last season. (AP Photo/Jacob Kupferman, File)
FILE - Carolina Panthers kicker Zane Gonzalez (5) warms up before an NFL football game against the Washington Football Team on Sunday, Nov. 21, 2021, in Charlotte, N.C. The Carolina Panthers have re-signed kicker Zane Gonzalez to a two-year contract, Wednesday, March 9, 2022, after he helped solidify the team's kicking position last season. (AP Photo/Jacob Kupferman, File)
FILE - Carolina Panthers kicker Zane Gonzalez (5) warms up before an NFL football game against the Washington Football Team on Sunday, Nov. 21, 2021, in Charlotte, N.C. The Carolina Panthers have re-signed kicker Zane Gonzalez to a two-year contract, Wednesday, March 9, 2022, after he helped solidify the team's kicking position last season. (AP Photo/Jacob Kupferman, File)

CAROLINA PANTHERS (5-12)

UNRESTRICTED FREE AGENTS: RB Ameer Abdullah, S Juston Burris, LB Jermaine Carter Jr., S Sean Chandler, P Lachlan Edwards, WR Alex Erickson, CB Stephon Gilmore, DE Marquis Haynes Sr., CB Donte Jackson, DT DaQuan Jones, CB Rashaan Melvin, G John Miller, QB Cam Newton, C Matt Paradis, OLB Haason Reddick, T Trent Scott, WR Brandon Zylstra.

RESTRICTED FREE AGENTS: C Mike Panasiuk.

NEEDS: The Panthers are expected to make a big-time push to acquire an experienced quarterback with a winning track record via free agency or a trade. It is highly unlikely Newton will return to Carolina next season given the way things ended last year — with him on the bench backing up Sam Darnold. They’ll also look to improve one of the league’s worst offensive lines, although the left tackle position could be addressed with the No. 6 pick in the draft. In terms of in-house free agents, the Panthers are expected to make an offer to keep Reddick, who has produced double-digit sacks totals in back-to-back seasons at Arizona and Carolina, but he may be out of their price range. General manager Scott Fitterer is hoping to re-sign either Gilmore or Jackson at cornerback, but it’s entirely possible both will find more lucrative deals elsewhere.

AVAILABLE SALARY CAP SPACE (approximately): $26 million.

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