The Panthers made a splash in USFL free agent signings by adding an NFL veteran. The Panthers added former 2nd Round Pick of out Mississippi, Breeland Speaks a veteran of 16 NFL games who recently spent time with the Buffalo Bills in 2021.
Speaks brings some stability and creditability to the Panthers. Despite a less than dynamic NFL career Speeks has experience and a decent pedigree coming from the NFL and SEC. Despite bouncing around NFL practice squads for the past three season Speaks managed to record 24 tackles and 1.5 sacks in the lone season he was active for with the Chiefs. Speaks joins Ethan Westbrooks, Cavon Walker, Garrett Marino and JaQuan Bailey of Panthers defensive linemen with some NFL experience.
In 2022 the Panthers defensive line was supposed to be a strength bringing in Cavon Walker (XFL sack leader), Chase DeMoor (internet celebrity and athletic freak), and Adewale Adeoye however, the unit seemed to underwhelm being a bottom tier unit when it came to sacks.
The Panthers have spent 2022 doing their best to bolster the unit bringing in former Syracuse Defensive lineman Jamal Milan, controversial CFL player Garrett Marino, and now Super Bowl Champion Breeland Speaks. The Panthers were also proactive during the season in strengthening the Defensive Line by signing Vantrel McMillan, and Ethan Westbrooks who both added stability to the unit.
With the loss of TJ Carter to the Saints/Rams, bringing in Speaks allows the Panthers to have a player who has been a part of a winning franchise, and understands the preparation it takes to succeed as a professional football player. The Panthers who as stated have added a ton of experience with CFL and NFL players on the defensive line still have a ton of youth at linebacker and defensive backfield. With Speaks the Panthers gain solid player with good size who’s hopefully looking to prove himself to not only NFL scouts but his peers as well.
Currently the Panthers have 66 players on their roster. With some USFL contracts set to expire on December 31st, the Panthers should have a better feel of who is staying with the team in 2023. With a USFL draft date for 2023 unknown the free agent signings may be a bit more important than initially expected. Ultimately, bring in an All-SEC player like Speaks shows Panthers fans that the team is committed to fielding an experienced team with solid backgrounds to off-set the youth and in-experience of other positions.