Teddy Williams / Outside Cornerback Depth
While there is only one contract concern for the Panthers in this group in the 2018 off-season with the 28 year old Teddy Williams, who is entering the final year of his contract in 2017.
With 2016 draft picks Daryl Worley, and James Bradberry entering their second seasons in the NFL. Plus the additions of 2017 draft pick Corn Elder, and bringing back Captain Munnerlyn on a 3 year deal in Free Agency to possibly fix depth issues at the Nickle spot.
Depth on the outside behind Worley, and Bradberry may be the targeted area for GM Dave Gettleman, and the Panthers come the 2018 off-season.
While there are reports the Panthers are planning to try playing both Captain Munnerlyn, and Corn Elder on the outside some in 2017 to compensate for that depth as of now. As pointed out in an article by Jourdan Rodrigue of the Charlotte Observer.
As soon as OTAs started in May, Rivera tasked Munnerlyn with rotating in on the outside and immediately lending depth and competition where it didn’t exist last season.
“Captain’s going to compete,” Rivera said. “And it’s just kind of the way we look at things. He’s a veteran guy, he knows how to do things. He’s been in our system before. So we think Captain’s got an opportunity.”
“Man, I feel like I still can (play on the outside),” Munnerlyn said. “I did it for a long time here before. And I don’t want to put myself in a box and say ‘I’m just a nickel back.’ No.
Much like how Bené Benwikere did in the defense in 2015 before suffering the injury that would turn his career path upside down.
The Panthers will still need to look to add at least one more piece to the puzzle on the outside in 2018. Either through Free Agency or the NFL Draft.
While re-signing Teddy Williams is an option. The 28 year old corner might have to fight just to stay on the roster in 2017.
One of the key factors to the Super Bowl run in the 2015 season was the Panthers secondary coming together as a solid group for the first time in their 3 playoff runs. Much like it was a big reason why the Panthers defense floundered in the 2016 season.
Gettleman will need to figure out the best way to approach filling the depth at outside corner in 2018 now that he has presumably has filled the group out quite nicely with young potential talent in the last two seasons.
He will need to continue to build on top of what is already there through Free Agency or the Draft. Especially on the outside.