The Panthers have to reinforce their offensive line before they take the field again, otherwise another 7-9 season is certainly possible. After Cam Newton was put on the sidelines due to shoulder soreness, the team lost two backup quarterbacks in as many weeks thanks in part to breakdowns in pass protection. This only underscores the unit’s dire needs heading into 2019.
Thanks to center Ryan Kalil’s pending retirement, Carolina has needs at every position up front, so double dipping into the NFL draft and this year’s free agency class is probably a good idea. Here’s seven players who are about to hit the market that could help.
Age: 31 years
Size: 6-foot-5, 331 pounds
2018 PFF ranking: No. 33 at G
Greg Van Roten did a decent job filling in for Andrew Norwell at left guard and was the only player who was on the field every snap. Trai Turner is also still a stud and going nowhere. Even still, more depth at guard is a critical need, especially with Amini Silatolu’s status up in the air and Tyler Larsen possibly being promoted to center in Kalil’s place. Iupati is no spring chicken. Offensive linemen don’t usually play past 30 in the pros unless they are better than average, though. If nothing else, Iupati would bring depth and experience. Both are needed.