It was another forgettable year for the Carolina Panthers, but less so than in recent years. The team finished with a 7-10 record, which was their best since 2018 when Ron Rivera was still head coach, and they finished second in the NFC South, their best since 2017.
But being the top runner-up in the NFL’s worst division doesn’t get you much. The team fired head coach Matt Rhule midway during his third season at the helm. To replace him, Carolina hired former Colts head coach Frank Reich, who was also fired during the season last year.
Carolina’s offseason hinges on solving the quarterback question that’s plagued them for the last five seasons. Last season alone they cycled through Sam Darnold, Baker Mayfield and PJ Walker. With the ninth pick in the 2023 draft, the most likely route would be drafting a quarterback and re-signing Darnold to help bridge the gap.
The Panthers have seven picks in the draft this year, including two second-rounders, the extra one acquired when they dealt Christian McCaffrey to the San Francisco 49ers. Those picks will help address other major needs like cornerback, offensive line, etc.
Make no mistake, the Panthers have a lot of work to do before their Super Bowl contenders again. Right now, their odds are sitting at +5500, not the worst, but far from the best.
Carolina Panthers 2023 salary cap space (as of 10:30 a.m., March 19)
Over The Cap: $17,896,346
NFLPA public salary cap report: $23,492,946
The OTC numbers reflect all reported deals even if paperwork is not completely finalized with the league and/or the players’ association. The NFLPA numbers reflect all deals in which paperwork has been finalized and submitted to the players’ association.
Panthers’ notable contracts (2023 cap hit)
LB Shaq Thompson — $24,463,334
EDGE Brian Burns — $16,012,000
CB Donte Jackson — $13,589,166
OT Taylor Morton — $24,541,250
DT Derrick Brown — $7,515,901
Panthers’ notable moves impacting cap space
- Traded WR DJ Moore to Bears
- Signed QB Andy Dalton to two-year, $11 million contract
- Signed RB Miles Sanders to four-year, $25.4 million contract
- Signed TE Hayden Hurst to three-year, $21.75 million contract
- Re-signed C Bradley Bozeman to three-year, $18 million contract
- Signed DL Shy Tuttle to three-year, $19.5 million contract
- Signed S Vonn Bell to three-year, $22.5 million contract