We’re 25 days away from the Panthers 2022 season opener, so that means today’s countdown piece is devoted to No. 25 on the roster — safety Xavier Woods.
Woods is new to Carolina after signing a 3-year, $15 million deal with the Panthers this offseason. He entered the league as a sixth round pick of the Dallas Cowboys in 2017 and by his second season he had locked down a starting gig. He spent four seasons in Dallas and racked up 77 tackles in 2019 and 72 more in 2020.
In 2021 he joined the Minnesota Vikings and had a really good season with career highs with 108 tackles, three interceptions, and 10 passes defended. His 66.4 PFF grade ranked 39th of 92 safeties and wasn’t too far behind Jeremy Chinn’s 70.6 grade. PFF went on to name Woods as the best run stopping safety among the 2022 free agent class. He was given the third-highest grade as a run stopper among all NFL safeties last year.
Pairing Woods with Jeremy Chinn could give the Panthers a punishing combination of safeties. Woods is an upgrade over Sean Chandler and Kenny Robinson and he should add a lot to Carolina’s secondary. It’s a bit surprising the Panthers were able to land a 27-year-old starter coming off a borderline Pro Bowl season for an average of $5 million per year over the next three years, so well done, Scott Fitterer.
Xavier Woods was one of the more impactful free agent signings from this offseason and he could be poised for a big year in Carolina.
What do you think, Panthers fans? Do you think Xavier will put up another 100-plus tackle season this year? Let us know in the comments!