DE depth likely to be major need for Panthers

Posted Feb. 05, 2010 @ 4:49 p.m.
Posted By Dan Parr

With both starting defensive ends from 2009 set to test the free-agent waters, the Panthers could be going with a much younger look at the position next season. Carolina is expected to allow DE Julius Peppers to hit the open market. The other starting end, Tyler Brayton, is someone the Panthers would like to have back, but he may also want to see what other opportunities are available when he, like Peppers, becomes an unrestricted free agent in March. That would leave D-coordinator Ron Meeks with '09 second-round pick Everette Brown and three-year veteran Charles Johnson as the likely starters in '10. They both have been only part-time players. Brown had some good moments as a rookie, but he needs to bulk up and is still developing. Johnson is considered more of a pass-rush specialist than an every-down player. Depth at end will become a serious concern for the club if Peppers and Brayton both head elsewhere.


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