5 pending Carolina Panthers free agents who won’t be back in 2023

(Bob Donnan-USA TODAY Sports) Sam Darnold
(Bob Donnan-USA TODAY Sports) Sam Darnold /
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Carolina Panthers
(Rich Barnes-USA TODAY Sports) Cam Erving /

87. . OT. Carolina Panthers. CAMERON ERVING. 2. player

Cam Erving – Carolina Panthers OT

When the Carolina Panthers announced the signing of Cam Erving within hours of the 2021 legal tampering period getting underway, almost every reaction on social media and across analysts was met with widespread dismay.

The former first-round pick had done nothing to suggest he was worthy of such interest and the size of the contract given to him was nothing short of staggering all things considered.

The market for Erving was not exactly going to be robust. Simply put, this was a panic move by the Panthers after it became pretty obvious that Russell Okung was not going to come back.

As it turned out, Erving was unable to remove the stigma that’s surrounded him throughout a poor career to date. He was extremely sluggish protecting the blindside, spent a lot of time injured, and there was a distinct lack of accountability from the player whenever he spoke in front of the media.

The Florida State product featured in just 586 snaps for the Panthers in 2021, giving up three sacks and conceding four penalties to secure a less than stellar 56.0 grade from Pro Football Focus. Carolina acquired Ikem Ekwonu at No. 6 overall in the 2022 NFL Draft, which means that Erving is going to be a very expensive backup next season unless he wins the starting left guard job.

Regardless of whether Erving plays, 2022 will undoubtedly be his final season in Carolina.