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The complete list of Carolina Panthers free agents heading into 2019

The Panthers have 28 players who will be free agents when the 2019 league year begins in March.

We already know that Ryan Kalil is retiring, so he won’t be re-signed. It’s also possible that 2018 was the last time we see Julius Peppers, but he hasn’t made his decision final as of today. Thomas Davis has said multiple times that he’d love to come back to Carolina for at least one more year.

Devin Funchess will get a multi-year deal somewhere, but considering that he was a healthy scratch in the season finale against the Saints, it’s probably unlikely that the multi-year deal will come from Carolina. With Cam Newton’s shoulder health in question, the Panthers will likely need another backup quarterback to pair with Kyle Allen during the offseason. Taylor Heinicke is a restricted free agent, so he’ll probably be back to at least participate in OTAs and training camp while we wait for more information on Cam’s shoulder situation.

There are some grizzled old veterans on the list who could possibly come back for at least one more year—Kyle Love, Ben Jacobs and Mike Adams, just to name a few.

There are also a few names on this list that are all but guaranteed to not return in 2019. Chandler Catanzaro will almost assuredly go elsewhere since he was only signed to replace Graham Gano after he injured his knee. We’ve probably seen the last of Fozzy Whittaker, Cameron Artis-Payne, Kenjon Barner and Amini Silatolu as well.

Daryl Williams is a coin flip at the moment. He’s probably going to be too expensive to retain, but there’s a chance his injury keeps his price down enough that the Panthers can make an offer he’ll be willing to accept. Hopefully they can find a way to keep him in Carolina, because offensive line depth is a serious issue for the Panthers heading into next season, and when healthy Williams is a quality right tackle.

I wouldn’t be surprised to see the Panthers offer Eric Reid a multi-year contract. Both sides appear to be amenable to making that happen, so long as the Panthers offer Reid what he feels is ‘market value’. I can’t imagine the Panthers will let Wes Horton go too far away from Charlotte since they need defensive end help in the worst way (especially if Peppers retires) and I’m sure that we’ll see either Efe Obada or Bryan Cox Jr. (or both) offered a chance to stay in Carolina as well. Both of them being exclusive rights free agents all but guarantees they will have a chance to make the 53-man roster in July.

Here is the full list of 28 free agents for the Panthers heading into 2019, broken down into three categories—unrestricted, restricted and exclusive rights. Below the list of free agents will be a quick primer on what those three categories mean.

Unrestricted free agents

S Mike Adams
RB Cameron Artis-Payne
RB Kenjon Barner
RB Travaris Cadet
K Chandler Catanzaro
OT Chris Clark
LB Thomas Davis
WR Devin Funchess
DE Wes Horton
LB Ben Jacobs
S Colin Jones
C Ryan Kalil
DT Kyle Love
LB David Mayo
OT Marshall Newhouse
DE Julius Peppers
S Eric Reid
G Amini Silatolu
RB Fozzy Whittaker
OT Daryl Williams

Restricted free agents

WR Damiere Byrd
QB Taylor Heinicke
TE Chris Manhertz
LB Jared Norris

Exclusive rights free agents

DE Bryan Cox Jr.
RB Elijah Hood
DE Efe Obada
S Damian Parms

How many of these players would you like to see return to the Panthers in 2019? Which players should be prioritized the most? Share your wish list with us!


Unrestricted free agent

Unrestricted free agents are players with expired contracts that have completed four or more accrued seasons of service. They are free to sign with any franchise.

Restricted free agent

Restricted free agents (RFAs) are players who have three accrued seasons of service and whose contracts have expired. RFAs have received qualifying offers from their old clubs and are free to negotiate with any club until a deadline which occurs approximately a week prior to the NFL Draft (for 2010 the deadline was April 15), at which time their rights revert to their original club. If a player accepts an offer from a new club, the old club will have the right to match the offer and retain the player. If the old club elects not to match the offer, it may receive draft-choice compensation depending on the level of the qualifying offer made to the player.

Exclusive rights free agent

Exclusive-rights free agents (ERFAs) are players with two or fewer seasons of service time and whose contracts have expired. If their team tenders a qualifying offer (a one-year contract usually at league-minimum salary) the player has no negotiating rights with other teams, and must either sign the tender with the team or sit out the season.

~ Free agent definitions courtesy of Wikipedia

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