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Ron Rivera waiting to see who will earn free safety job for Panthers

Ron Rivera

Carolina Panthers head coach Ron Rivera is waiting to see who will become his team’s starting free safety in 2019.

Rivera told The Athletic’s Joseph Person on June 17 the most important position battle during offseason workouts is at free safety.

After mentioning the O-line, Rivera quickly shifted to the other side of the ball when asked about the most important battles of camp.

‘Probably the one position, obviously, is the free safety spot,’ he said. ‘We’ve got to see who’s gonna step up and take that lead.’

One strong candidate for the starting free safety spot is Rashaan Gaulden. According to PanthersWire’s Tim Weaver, the addition of Javien Elliott could be an indication Rivera wants Gaulden to focus on the free safety position. Elliott is more of a slot cornerback.

While Gaulden played safety and nickel during his college days with the Tennessee Volunteers, he didn’t play much as a rookie in 2018. Tapping him to become the starting free safety is a gamble, per Weaver.

Carolina and Ron Rivera can also look at the free agent market for potential starters at the free safety spot. Two names which come to mind are Tre Boston and Eric Berry. The former suited up for the Panthers from 2014 to 2017. For his part, Berry has had a stellar NFL career. However, an Achilles injury limited him to just three games over the past two seasons.

Who will Riverboat Ron tap to become his starting free safety in the 2019 NFL season? It should be interesting to find out.