How about PFF?
G Pat Elflein: Three years, $13.5 million ($6 million guaranteed)
Things started out well enough for Elflein as a rookie with the Minnesota Vikings back in 2017, but it’s been downhill since then. The former Ohio State Buckeye has been a revolving door in pass protection, failing to clear a 50.0 pass-blocking grade in any of the past three seasons. He is one of just three guards in the league allowing a pressure rate above 8.0% on at least 500 pass-blocking snaps since 2018. It’s difficult to project a major turnaround in 2021.
The Vikings were comfortable waiving Elflein during the 2020 season despite their guards combining for the worst pass-blocking grade in the NFL — a dreadful 37.2 mark across the roster. Carolina apparently values his ability to play multiple positions on the interior, but it’s fair to wonder if Minnesota kept moving him around just to see if he could play anywhere, not because he was solid at several spots.
Carolina is probably still working on a long-term deal for right tackle Taylor Moton and is set to lose left tackle Russell Okung to free agency, making this deal even more of a head-scratcher.
T Cam Erving: Two years, $10 million ($8 million guaranteed)
Grade: Below Average
The Panthers needed to add depth to their offensive line given the uncertainty throughout the unit heading into this offseason. Erving certainly provides plenty of experience both as a starter and as a reserve, with over 3,000 career offensive snaps to his name since being drafted in the first round back in 2015.
The problem is that Erving's experience has never come in the form of quality play. A 2020 season in which he started just five games for the Dallas Cowboys before going down with injury represented the best year of his career from a grading standpoint (58.0 overall grade). It was the first time in his NFL career with a PFF grade above 50.0, but it still would have ranked just 36th among qualifying left tackles had he played enough snaps to qualify. Even as a swing tackle, he’s not someone who Carolina should have much confidence in stepping into a starting role should an injury pop up.
With Russell Okung set to hit free agency, it makes sense that the Panthers would want to solidify the tackle position, but they shouldn’t have much faith in Erving providing more than mid-level depth. The signing in a vacuum is fine, but with a handful of superior tackles recently released — Eric Fisher and Riley Reiff among them — you have to wonder if it would have been wise for Carolina to let the market play out a bit before working out a deal with a player who would most likely still be available in the second or even third wave of free agency.