6 Carolina Panthers players that will not be back in 2022

Dean Jones
(Bob Donnan-USA TODAY Sports) Ian Thomas
(Bob Donnan-USA TODAY Sports) Ian Thomas /
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Carolina Panthers
(Bob Donnan-USA TODAY Sports) Pat Elflein /

Pat Elflein – Carolina Panthers OG

Dead cap:

  • Pre-June 1: $4.64 million ($2.38M savings)
  • Post-June 1: $4.27 million ($2.75M savings)

The Carolina Panthers raised plenty of eyebrows when they signed Pat Elflein to a two-year deal on Day 1 of free agency. His previous relationship with offensive line coach Pat Meyer from their time at Ohio State played a significant role in this decision, which hasn’t gone according to the script for all parties involved.

Elflein’s production prior to joining the Panthers couldn’t be classed as stellar. He was waived by the Minnesota Vikings after failing to build on a promising rookie campaign and things didn’t get any better over his short stint with the New York Jets.

These concerns haven’t been alleviated. Elflein’s dismal pass protection before going on the reserve/injured list was there for all to see and unless things take a positive step forward when he’s ready to return, he’ll be a primary candidate for early release after just one season.

Parting ways with Elflein ahead of time would cost the Panthers around $4.64 million in dead-cap, according to Over the Cap. A costly mistake and one that cast further doubt on just how capable the current regime is at evaluating pro talent.

Elflein won’t – and shouldn’t – have any complaints if Carolina goes in this direction. And it appears highly unlikely he’ll get another starting opportunity elsewhere.