The smell of NFL free agency is in the air Monday morning, and two big names have the Panthers on their minds.
Soon-to-be free-agent safety Eric Weddle spoke highly of Carolina to Sports Illustrated’s Peter King over the weekend, and free agent cornerback Antonio Cromartie mentioned the Panthers in a tweet last night.
The “legal tampering” window for free agency begins at noon Monday, so an NFL team can begin talks with the agent of an impending free agent from then until 4 p.m. Wednesday.
Weddle, 31, “spoke longingly of [New England], Oakland, Pittsburgh and Carolina, all of which he was sure would be a good fit,” King wrote.
The five-time All-Pro will not be returning to San Diego, where he spent three years with Panthers coach Ron Rivera and defensive backs coach Steve Wilks before they came to Charlotte.
Cromartie, 31, was released by the Jets last month after playing just one year of his four-year, $32 million contract. He played in 15 games last year with 12 passes defensed and zero interceptions.
Weddle wants to play for a contender, but his price may be too high for the Panthers. At 6-foot-2, Cromartie seems like a good fit for Carolina’s secondary too, and he won’t fetch the same kind of money he did last offseason.