5 Panthers players unlikely to return in 2023 through Week 4

(Bob Donnan-USA TODAY Sports) Baker Mayfield
(Bob Donnan-USA TODAY Sports) Baker Mayfield /
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Carolina Panthers
(Photo by Mitchell Leff/Getty Images) Bradley Bozeman /

Bradley Bozeman – Carolina Panthers OL

This has nothing to do with Bradley Bozeman’s talent, which is already proven. But an unfortunate injury just before the season means the Carolina Panthers might not ever get the chance to see the center over a prolonged period of games.

Bozeman was working his way back to full fitness over the first couple of contests. This left the Panthers with no option other than to install Pat Elflein as their starting option.

Despite some groaning within the fanbase – and with good reason – the former Ohio State standout has improved drastically and looks set to command the position long-term unless there is a significant drop-off in form.

While this is extremely welcome considering the offensive line woes of recent years, it does leave Bozeman on the outside looking in. The Alabama product signed a one-year deal this offseason and although Elflein is counting more than $7 million against the salary cap in 2023, continuity might be more important to Carolina if he continues performing well.

It’s unlikely Bozeman will be short of offers and he’ll be missed within the community after immersing himself in projects and good causes upon joining the team. Much will also depend on whether or not there is a change in Carolina’s coaching staff and how they view the lineman.