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Wednesday, July 13, 2011
Brandon Mebane could be fit for Panthers

By Pat Yasinskas
ESPN.com

We started speculating a bit the other day about possible post-lockout moves by throwing out a scenario in which Green Bay linebacker Nick Barnett could fit with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.

Let’s build off that and hit another team and another player. Although the Carolina Panthers drafted South Florida defensive tackle Terrell McClain and Stanford defensive tackle Sione Fua in the third round this year, I’m not sure they’re done at that position.

Defensive tackle, a strong point for Carolina in the days of Kris Jenkins and Maake Kemoeatu, has been a glaring weakness the past couple of seasons. McClain and Fua should help, but I see one guy I believe could be a nice fit in Carolina.

That’s Brandon Mebane, who has spent the past four seasons with Seattle. If reports that players with four accrued seasons -- and without a contract for this year -- will become unrestricted free agents, Mebane will be on the market.

Other than McClain and Fua, the Panthers have guys like Nick Hayden, Ed Johnson, Corvey Irvin and Derek Landri. Mebane would be an instant upgrade on any of those guys. Carolina’s in a youth movement, but Mebane could fit the profile. He’s only 26.

He’s been a starter throughout most of his career. At 311 pounds, he plays the run well and he also has shown some ability as a pass-rusher in the past. Mebane had 5.5 sacks in 2008.