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Panthers 2021 season opener countdown: 67 days to go

We’re counting down the days until the Panthers kick off the 2021 season.

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Carolina Panthers v Washington Football Team Photo by Will Newton/Getty Images

We’re 67 days away from the Carolina Panthers 2021 season opener, so that means today’s countdown piece is devoted to No. 67 on the roster — guard John Miller.

Former Buffalo Bill and Cincinnati Bengal John Miller could be entering training camp in a battle for the starting right guard role.

The veteran didn’t have an amazing season last year during his first in Carolina. He could face competition during camp from rookie former Alabama guard Deonte Brown.

The Panthers brought Miller back on a one-year deal over the offseason, but it may very well be “put up or shut up” time for the veteran. The 27-year-old was selected in the third round of the 2015 draft by the Bills, out of Louisville.

His big pay day came in March 2019, when the Bengals gave him a three-year, $16.5 million contract. Just one year later Cincinnati cut ties with Miller.

Rhule and the Panthers gave Miller $4 million on a one-year deal for 2020, where he started 14 games at right guard.

But the rookie Brown certainly has the analysts talking.

While Brown wasn’t selected until the sixth round — No. 193 overall — NFL Network’s Charles Davis recently called him the best pick in that entire round. One can probably take that to say that Brown could have been a fifth round draft choice.

“I think Deonte Brown competes to start at guard,” said Davis. “Gives Christian McCaffrey another body guard in the run game and helps Sam Darnold in the passing game. I think he’s a great value in the sixth round ”

Back in May, NFL Network’s “Draft Today” show had some glowing words for the guard.

“I love Deonte Brown. I think Matt Rhule might have found a starting guard in Deonte Brown,” said one of the scouts.

Without a doubt, Rhule and his staff have some big decisions coming up on multiple positions across the offensive line. It should be exciting to see how it shapes up.