4 Carolina Panthers players being grossly overpaid in 2022

(Bob Donnan-USA TODAY Sports) Pat Elflein
(Bob Donnan-USA TODAY Sports) Pat Elflein /
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Which Carolina Panthers players will be vastly overpaid during the 2022 season based on their previous production with the team? 

Considering where things stood from a financial standpoint before free agency, the Carolina Panthers have done remarkably well to bring in some intriguing arrivals and also leave plenty of spare funds available for another move should they wish.

Salary-cap guru Samir Suleiman has reworked contracts to give the Panthers almost $25 million in space remaining. Money that might be held back for Baker Mayfield if Carolina reaches a compromise with the Cleveland Browns in the coming days.

Things don’t look too promising in 2023 with the Panthers projected to be $30 million over the cap. But if the New Orleans Saints have taught us anything this spring, it’s that salaries can be manipulated without it jeopardizing the chances of remaining competitive.

With that being said, here are four Panthers players who appear to be grossly overpaid in 2022 based on their efforts during the previous campaign.

Player No. 1

Carolina Panthers
(Jim Dedmon-USA TODAY Sports) Pat Elflein /

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Pat Elflein – Carolina Panthers OL

  • $4.23 million cap number in 2022

Just why the Carolina Panthers made signing Pat Elflein a top priority in 2021 free agency remains a mystery. The offensive lineman had been lackluster at best throughout his stints with the Minnesota Vikings and New York Jets, so agreeing to a lucrative three-year deal bemused at the time and even more so now.

Elflein did an adequate job at the center spot when Matt Paradis went down. But the Panthers got themselves an upgrade in Bradley Bozeman and it remains to be seen whether or not the former Ohio State product can win the starting left guard job in training camp.

His contract restructure this offseason comes with a $4.23 million cap number in 2023. This is over the odds, but it gets even worse next time around when Elflein’s salary rockets to $7.55 million.