Panthers sign LB Raekwon McMillan & more

The Panthers officially signed free agent linebacker Raekwon McMillan to a one year deal.

A person familiar with the situation stated the contract is worth $18 million. The person spoke on condition of anonymity because the team doesn’t release financial terms of a contract.

McMillan replaces Tahir Whitehead, who was released this past week after just one season with the team.

McMillan enters his four season after being drafted by Miami in the second round of the 2017 draft. McMillan spent time with the Raiders last season, only amassing 38 tackles, 7 TFL and only half of a sack. He looks to rebound his career with the Panthers after a slow start.

The Panthers are said to be planning to use McMillan as a middle linebacker due to his athleticism and run stuffing ability. McMillan is known for his high motor, discipline, and his ability to shed blockers.

The Panthers have also signed a number of free agents including running back Tevin Coleman, who the Panthers will use to spell Christian McCaffrey and use on special teams.

Tight end Jesse James joins the team as the team has parted ways with Ian Thomas and Chris Manhertz. The veteran will most likely enter the season as the starting tight end with Caleb Wilson as the second tight end.

The team also signed offensive lineman Nick Harris and Yosuah Nijman. Nijman is what some would call a freak athlete, standing almost 6’8” and ran a 4.8 40 and 20-yard shuttle time of 4.50, which is considered elite for his position. As much as Nijman is gifted athletically, he is raw at playing almost every position on the offensive line. We suspect the Panthers will use his agility on pulls in their power run game and maybe even lining up as a fullback or tight end in some instances.

Derek Rivers and Jordan Willis have signed with the team. They will most likely spend time in at defensive end and linebacker positions. Willis has a good chance to be a starting linebacker ahead of Jermaine Carter. Rivers will spell Brian Burns and Yetur Gross-Matos.

The Panthers signed veteran safety Anthony Harris, who will compete with Tre Boston for the starting free safety spot. The two have a similar skill set and will take part in one of the closest position battles in camp.

Rounding out the free agent signings, the Panthers were able to secure veteran kicker Robbie Gould to a team friendly deal after the team could not come to terms with Joey Slye.