Grading G Pat Elflein’s deal with the Carolina Panthers: C+

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Mark Schofield
·1 min read
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The Carolina Panthers made an addition to their offensive line at the start of free agency, reaching a deal with guard Pat Elflein. After spending time with both the Minnesota Vikings and the New York Jets last season, Elflein is reportedly heading to the NFC South. The terms of the deal were announced on Twitter by Adam Schefter and referenced Elflein’s agent, Jonathan Feinsod.

According to Schefter, the deal is for three years and $13.5 million, including $6 million fully guaranteed.

Elflein was drafted by the Vikings in the third round of the 2017 NFL draft after playing his college football at Ohio State. He earned the starting job at center for Minnesota as a rookie, before shifting over to guard when the team drafted Garrett Bradbury in the first round of the 2019 draft to play center.

In 2020, Elflein moved from left guard to right guard and started in the season opener. But a thumb injury put him on injured reserve, and he was later waived by the organization. The New York Jets signed him and he started the final six games of the season, but his performance was unsettled at best. Over those six games Elflein allowed a sack and 16 quarterback hurries.

His versatility makes this an intriguing addition, given his experience at center and both guard spots. That could prove beneficial as Carolina looks to restructure their offense, perhaps with a new face at quarterback. But he will need to vastly improve on last year’s performance to make this a worthwhile investment for the Panthers.