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Panthers, Saints, Ravens Could Pursue Top Remaining Offensive Lineman

Free agent guard/center Connor Williams is expected to be healthy for the start of the regular season, and these two teams should sign him.
Connor Williams Free Agent

A healthy version of Connor Williams has a case to be the best free agent left on the market. However, up until now, nobody knew if the second-round pick was healthy. After entering the league as a guard with the Dallas Cowboys, the Texas product moved to center and established himself as one of the elite players at his position. Last year, Williams finished the season with an 86.5 PFF grade, the second-best mark out of 36 eligible players. Unfortunately, a torn ACL prematurely ended his season after nine games.

Agent Drew Rosenhaus previously confirmed that Williams’ knee injury was “pretty serious” and that he’d take his time before finding a new team. However, a recent report by ESPN’s Adam Schefter suggests that Connor Williams will be healthy and could start making free agent visits. Once that happens, the Carolina Panthers, New Orleans Saints, and Baltimore Ravens should do everything in their power to secure his services.

Panthers, Ravens, Saints Could Sign Free Agent Connor Williams

The Carolina Panthers spent the past few months doing everything in their power to make life easier for Bryce Young. The 2023 first-overall pick crashed and burned as a rookie playing in one of the worst situations you can imagine. Since the start of the league year, Carolina bolstered their wide receiver room with Diontae Johnson and first-round pick Xavier Legette while fortifying their offensive line with Robert Hunt and Damien Lewis. However, their one big weakness is center, and Connor Williams could fix that hole as a free agent.

With Bradley Bozeman now in Los Angeles, somebody must snap the ball to Bryce Young. Carolina might have to get financially creative to make the money work, but it’ll be worth it to see what Young can do with adequate support. Signing Connor Williams as a free agent will solidify the interior offensive line, and he has the weapons to succeed. If the Alabama product still can’t make it work with this supporting cast, then Carolina should look for someone else in 2025.

A Return to Guard?

The Panthers could sign Connor Williams as a free agent fix to their center issue, but the Ravens and Saints need guards. Baltimore lost both starters to free agency and have yet to find adequate replacements. Lamar Jackson excels at avoiding pressure and Derrick Henry is one of the few running backs that can outproduce his blocking, but this team could still use additional support. Williams is easily the best option on the market and could play a major role for a team with Super Bowl aspirations.

The New Orleans Saints, meanwhile, desperately need to do something about their atrocious offensive line. Derek Carr is one of the worst quarterbacks in the league against pressure, and the current offensive line could singlehandedly sink this season. Dennis Allen will lose his job if the Saints can’t win a weak NFC South and signing Connor Williams as a free agent might be enough to save everyone’s job. The team has over $12 million in cap space following the Taysom Hill restructure, so they should be able to make this work.

Main Photo: Katie Stratman – USA Today Sports


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