Panthers to let DeAngelo Williams become a free agent?

One of the hottest offseason topics for the Carolina Panthers has been whether or not they will place the franchise tag on running back DeAngelo Williams–who just wrapped up the final season of his four-year deal. According to NFL Network Insider Jason La Canfora, the organization will most likely use the tag on a different player and take a chance on Williams hitting the open market as a free agent.

La Canfora indicates how the Panthers will likely tag either center Ryan Kalil or defensive end Charles Johnson–mainly because of their fear of losing one of these two players on the open market. While Carolina hopes to keep all three potential free agents, this move could be dangerous considering other teams showing interest–like the Miami Dolphins.

The Dolphins have already expressed that Williams is on the top of their “must get” list this offseason after Ronnie Brown rushed for just 734 yards in 2010. While he missed most of last season with a foot injury, Williams has proven to be an effective running back when healthy and rushed for 2,632 yards with 25 touchdowns from 2008-09.

Considering how much interest Miami is showing, Carolina must feel confident enough that they can still sign Williams by letting him hit the open market. The only question that remains–would it be worth the risk for the Panthers not to tag Williams?

Dan Parzych is the Lead NFL Content Editor for,  where he writes and edits NFL content for

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  • Eric Q

    In addition, Williams already stated that he would be more open to remaining in Carolina if the team extended former running backs coach Jim Skipper a new contract. The team brought Skipper in for an interview, and ‘Skip’ sensed from the beginning it was more of a formality than a serious interview process. Skipper is now rumored (I haven’t received confirmation so far) to be the Tennessee Titans’ new running backs coach. What impact might this have on WIlliams’ decision to sign an extention with Carolina as well?

    In the end, I feel that with Williams, the Panthers remain a top-running team in the league, as the team has both depth and talent at the postion. Without Williams, it pushes Jonathan Stewart to become the No. 1 running back, and while I have confidence in Stew, I just hope he doesn’t have the lingering toe sensitivity issues. I believe that Mike Goodson, who is currently Carolina’s 3rd running back on the depth chart, will slide nicely into the No. 2 running back option, and so long as he clears up his fumblitis issues, he could rival Stewart for the No. 1 position.

    Tyrell Sutton will also complement the new duo of running backs nicely. With or without Williams, the Panthers will fare well. The depth and talent at the position has made Williams expendable in a sense.

    • Hunter

      if the fins want him talk trade the have some decent o linemen we need help in our protection any way

  • Ed Avery

    Wow Panters are a flat out mess, they will have a top 3 pick again next year.

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