Earlier this offseason, the Carolina Panthers made several additions to their wide receiving corps, bringing in guys like Robby Anderson, Seth Roberts, and Pharoh Cooper. However, one receiver that doesn't seem to be getting much attention is Keith Kirkwood.
The Panthers and Kirkwood agreed to a one-year, $800k deal that gives both sides great value. It gives Kirkwood the chance to prove himself after missing 15 games in 2019 due to a hamstring injury while a member of the New Orleans Saints.
The one thing that is going for Kirkwood is that he has some familiarity playing in Matt Rhule's system. He is one of several current Panthers that played under Rhule at Temple. During his time at Temple, Kirkwood totaled 91 receptions for 1,388 yards and 12 touchdowns and although they aren't the most eye-popping numbers, he was considered as one of the nation's most underrated receivers.
At 6'3", 210-pounds, Kirkwood gives the Panthers a big body at receiver, something that they lacked just a year ago. He is also the biggest receiver currently on the Panthers roster, which could turn him into a red zone threat at some point in 2020. The Panthers will rarely use him as a downfield threat, they will likely turn to Robby Anderson and Curtis Samuel for that. Kirkwood will make his living by becoming a reliable target in the intermediate passing game and in third down situations. If he can become a security blanket for Teddy Bridgewater on third downs, you could consider the Kirkwood's deal as a bargain.
It's very doubtful that Kirkwood will ever become a star in this offense with Robby Anderson, D.J. Moore, and Curtis Samuel being the primary targets, but he can certainly still find success in a minimized role.
What do you think about Keith Kirkwood in 2020? Let us know your thoughts in the comment section below!
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