Panthers Reportedly Poach Former First-Round Pick to Bolster Defensive Line

Carolina is taking low-cost, high-upside risks to rebuild the defense
The Panthers reportedly signed pass rusher K'Lavon Chaisson to a one-year, $5 million contract
The Panthers reportedly signed pass rusher K'Lavon Chaisson to a one-year, $5 million contract / Trevor Ruszkowski-USA TODAY Sports

The Panthers continued reworking their defense on Friday, reportedly signing former Jaguars first-round pick K’Lavon Chaisson to a one-year, $5 million deal.

Chaisson, a former LSU star pass rusher, hasn't made the sort of impact at the professional level that Jacksonville initially envisioned. That being said, he's got great size and athleticism and represents the kind of low-cost swing that rebuilding teams like Carolina should take.

After trading Brian Burns to the Giants, the Panthers need pass rushers and hope that Chaisson can tap into the potential that made him a highly-coveted prospect.

Panthers News: Carolina Signs EDGE K'Lavon Chaisson to One-Year Deal

In four years with the Jaguars, Chaisson compiled 57 tackles and five sacks. He made strides last season, notching a pair of sacks with 10 pressures despite limited playing time. That represented his most pressures since his rookie campaign, so he may have just needed a change of scenery to reach the heights his potential allows.

While Jacksonville wanted to compete quickly, the Panthers have the luxury of being patient with Chaisson. At 6'3", 245 LBs, he's got the prototypical size that helped him notch 6.5 sacks his final year at LSU.

GM Dan Morgan has been intentional about reworking the defense, though the Panthers' free agency moves have primarily centered around improving the offensive supporting cast for Bryce Young.

Carolina is likely operating in a two-to-three-year window as they reestablish a winning culture to get back to the playoffs. The Panthers are +1000 to win the NFC South at FanDuel Sportsbook. They likely won't be competitive this season but moves with high upside like this one can get them on the right path.

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