Panthers Linked to UFL Defensive Player of the Year in Free Agency

The Carolina Panthers could be looking to bring in another UFL player this summer.
Michigan Panthers v Houston Roughnecks
Michigan Panthers v Houston Roughnecks / Kevin M. Cox/UFL/GettyImages

Mandatory minicamp might be over the Carolina Panthers but that isn’t stopping the front office from looking at potential free agents, who could help them in training camp next month and maybe push for a spot for the 53-man roster.

The Panthers have been busy over the last couple of weeks, working out and signing multiple players from the UFL, which just completed its inaugural season last weekend. Carolina officially signed Memphis Showboats wide receiver Daewood Davis on Tuesday and reportedly worked out St. Louis Battlehawks wide receiver Hakeem Butler.

It’s clear that Carolina is intrigued by spring football and now has its eyes on one of the best defensive players in the UFL this season.

Panthers Rumors: Carolina Among Teams Expressing Interest in Breeland Speaks

Mike Payton of reported Monday night that the Panthers and Tennessee Titans have contacted Michigan Panthers EDGE Breeland Speaks. Payton adds “No deals are on the table and nothing has been agreed to, but the interest is there.”

It was only a matter of time before Speaks garnered NFL interest after having a great second season in spring football. The former Kansas City Chiefs second-round pick was a playmaker and game-wrecker in the UFL this season, en route to winning UFL Defensive Player of the Year.

Speaks led the UFL this season in tackles for loss (13), and sacks (9.5), and was named to the All-UFL defensive team. The 6-foot-3 pass rusher/outside linebacker also had 32 total tackles as he helped get the Panthers into the UFL playoffs.

The Panthers could use another pass rusher off the edge heading into training camp, especially since they traded Brian Burns in the offseason to the New York Giants. Carolina tried to fill the void led by Burns by signing veteran defensive end Jadeveon Clowney and former first-round pick K’Lavon Chaisson.

While Clowney should be a great addition to Carolina’s defensive line, the Panthers should still look to add depth and Speaks would be the perfect fit. We saw him dominate in the USFL last year with the Panthers, recording 53 total tackles and nine sacks. And Speaks’ dominance has continued this season in the UFL.

It doesn’t matter what level or league you play in, if you can play the NFL will find you. If you are Carolina, Speaks could bolster a lackadaisical defense with 27 sacks last season (dead last in the NFL).

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