ESPN Forecasts Panthers Reunion With All-Pro Defender

The Carolina Panthers still have a chance to bring back one of their former star defenders.
Brett Davis-USA TODAY Sports

Most of the notable free agents have found new homes this spring. However, there are a few established veterans still available on the market who could still contribute to teams. One of those names is the former Panther Stephon Gilmore.

The former Defensive Player of the Year is one of the best players on the market. Despite having a solid season with the Dallas Cowboys last season, where he appeared in all 17 games, Gilmore still hasn't signed with a team. He has long been rumored to the Carolina Panthers, which have an immediate need at cornerback. ESPN writer Matt Bowen thinks that Gilmore's best fit in the NFL would be in Carolina. (subscription required)

"With Gilmore, the Panthers would be adding an established veteran who can play outside or at the nickel spot. And even though he will turn 34 years old this season, Gilmore still has the physical coverage traits and savvy technique to find the ball. Last season in Dallas, Gilmore had two interceptions and 10 pass breakups."

Matt Bowen, ESPN

The Panthers currently have Jaycee Horn locked in on the outside. Dane Jackson and Troy Hill make the rest of the cornerback rotation but neither player is proven at the highest levels. Gilmore, on the other hand, has established himself as one of the best in his position, despite turning 34 during the season. His ability to slot on the outside or in the slot makes him an excellent fit in Carolina.

Gilmore was previously traded to the Panthers during the 2021 season in exchange for a sixth-round pick. He appeared in eight games there before signing with the Colts in free agency. The former All-Pro defender has a chance to come back to the Panthers and be a veteran leader on this young, rebuilding team.

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