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By: Anthony Rizzuti
Being that the Carolina Panthers are losing the fewest amount of 2022 snaps to the 2023 open market, they won’t have many—if any—players on these types of “top free agents” rankings. But they do have one on Pro Football Focus’ list.
And that player is defensive lineman Matt Ioannidis, who comes in at No. 87 of PFF’s 100-man roundup. Salary cap analyst Brad Spielberger, who projects a two-year, $13 million deal for the big man, writes the following:
Ioannidis was one of the more surprising cap casualties heading into 2022, ultimately landing with the Carolina Panthers on a one-year, $5.9 million flier. He paired well with nose tackle Derrick Brown as a lighter pass-rusher up the middle.
Ioannidis has missed time here and there in recent seasons with injuries, but he’s been a consistently strong pass-rusher from the interior, earning pass-rush grades of 69.1 or better in each of the last six seasons with a pressure rate around 10% in each of the last two. He can help a lot of teams make things tough on opposing quarterbacks.
One of those teams is the Panthers, who should find even more value in Ioannidis with the hiring of new defensive coordinator Ejiro Evero. Evero is likely to implement a 3-4 scheme, a base the seven-year veteran already has experience playing in.
So if Carolina is willing to pony up a little more than they did for him last year, they may be able keep some continuity and familiarity on a line that really needs it.
Originally posted on Panthers Wire