4 biggest offseason questions the Panthers need to answer

(Photo by Stephen Maturen/Getty Images) Jeremy Chinn
(Photo by Stephen Maturen/Getty Images) Jeremy Chinn /
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Carolina Panthers
(Brad Rempel-USA TODAY Sports) Jermaine Carter /

Do the Carolina Panthers have a solution at LB?

The Carolina Panthers were dealt the harshest of blows when the 2019 campaign drew to a close with the bombshell retirement of Luke Kuechly. One of the team’s greatest-ever players called it a day after eight glittering seasons to preserve his long-term health and this left a huge void that needed to be filled at the second level.

Free-agent signing Tahir Whitehead didn’t exactly live up to expectations and will surely be released when the time is right. However, whether Carolina already has its long-term Kuechly replacement on the roster is another matter entirely.

There was a significant difference in terms of production from this group when Jermaine Carter was installed as a starter. The former fifth-round pick didn’t get off to the best of starts due to a personality clash with head coach Matt Rhule. But the energy he brought when given the chance was very encouraging.

Carolina’s linebacker corps was seen as a real need for the Panthers prior to Carter’s eventual inclusion into the rotation.

But that need might not be as great heading into the offseason.

At the very least, Carter should get the chance to keep the No. 1 spot on the inside. But what occurs with the outside linebacker duo of Jeremy Chinn and Shaq Thompson before competitive action resumes for Carolina will be another big factor in any potential incomings.