But in trying to project players into roles they hadn’t played before, there were some misses. They gave defensive end Stephen Weatherly a two-year, $12.5 million deal, hoping the former Vikings backup could flourish as a starter. Instead, he had no sacks in nine games before a finger injury ended his season after nine games, and he was released.
Weatherly re-signed with the Vikings, and admitted to reporters there that he took his foot off the gas after getting paid, saying: “I openly admit that my time in Carolina, I was happy about the deal I signed and a little bit of complacency set in and that can’t happen.”
Other forays into free agency were equally frustrating, as veteran cornerback Eli Apple didn’t make it through the season, and linebacker Tahir Whitehead struggled with some injuries and eventually lost his starting job.
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