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Tracking the latest free agency rumors for Curtis Samuel

The Panthers would love to have their versatile receiver back in 2021, but can they make it happen with other pressing needs?

Curtis Samuel #10 of the Carolina Panthers warms up prior to the game against the Washington Football Team at FedExField on December 27, 2020 in Landover, Maryland. Photo by Mitchell Layton/Getty Images

We are already into the thick of the NFL offseason and that means free agency. Teams can’t contact free agents until March 15th, but news of the top players will circulate as we close in on that starting point. Dak Prescott, Richard Sherman, Chris Godwin, Trent Williams, Allen Robinson, Hunter Henry and Kenny Golladay are just a few of the big names set to hit unrestricted free agency when the new league year opens on March 17th. Many free agents stand a good chance of signing a contract with their current team or being franchise tagged before then, but many will be taking calls when the tampering period opens on March 15th.

2020 in review

Samuel had his best year in 2020, but his numbers won’t blow you out of the water, as he caught 77 passes for 851 yards and three touchdowns. But he also saw a big workload as a running back with 41 rushing attempts for 200 yards and two more touchdowns. Overall, the numbers look better than spread out like this and his ability is going to have teams wanting him.

Possible destinations

There is a nice crop of wide receivers possibly available in free agency this offseason and Samuel is right up near the top. The list of teams that will be in on him will be long. The New York Jets and their good salary cap situation will land one or two receivers this offseason and Samuel should be high on their list, but the Chicago Bears, New England Patriots, Washington Football Team, Baltimore Ravens, New York Giants, Miami Dolphins, Las Vegas Raiders and Cincinnati Bengals will all be interested, among others.

Do the Panthers want to keep him?

The Panthers would love to have him back. His versatility was very useful with Christian McCaffrey hurt last season and with a better quarterback, he still has more upside as a receiver. The main problem is that the team needs a new quarterback and plenty of help all around. If Samuel gets a bidding war going on his services, I’d expect Carolina to bow out. But with the tight salary cap situation around the league, anything could happen.

Fantasy implications

On a creative and strong offense, Samuel could blow up. Unfortunately, if he were to land on some of the teams that need his services, his fantasy production could take a dip this season.

Rumored interest

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