The Carolina Panthers clearly see the value of protecting Cam Newton and have resigned tackle Daryl Williams.
When Cam Newton went down with an injury, many pundits pointed to the offensive line as a reason for Newton’s struggles. His shoulder injury shut him down for the season and had fans wondering what the team will do to ensure that does not happen again. Well they’ve done one smart move in keeping talented right tackle Daryl Williams according to ESPN’s Adam Schefter.
The former fourth round pick missed almost all of the 2018 season with a knee injury early in the season. Williams was the starting right tackle at the time and his blow was big for Carolina. He will join newcomer Matt Paradis up front to help protect Newton and runner Christian McCaffrey.
Panthers beat writer for The Observer Jourdan Rodrigue reports the deal is for $6 million. That places Williams outside of the top-ten paid right tackles. For some perspective, this deal pays him a million dollars less than Browns starting tackle and former draft bust Greg Robinson.
Most of the reaction comes from fanbases of teams that missed on Williams. He was considered a bargain free agent because he was coming off a season ending injury. Teams like the Bills, Giants, and Jets all had fans reacting to the news negatively.
Pro Football Focus’ Mike Renner ranked Williams as one of the best free agents available this morning.
The Panthers were smart to bring Williams back. Their trio of tackles with Williams, former second round pick Taylor Moton and veteran Matt Kalil give them wiggle room. The two most talented are Williams and Moton. That should be the starting duo entering the regular season. It won’t be because the Panthers paid Kalil a ton of money. Kalil is an excellent presence as a veteran but his play has fallen off in recent years.
Williams can come in and prove that he is a solid starter at right tackle before re-entering free agency in 2020. The Panthers will feel comfortable about Moton sliding into his spot at that point.