5 Carolina Panthers players who could be cut ahead of time in 2023

(Photo by Jared C. Tilton/Getty Images) Shaq Thompson
(Photo by Jared C. Tilton/Getty Images) Shaq Thompson /
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Carolina Panthers
(James Guillory-USA TODAY Sports) Damien Wilson /

Damien Wilson – Carolina Panthers LB

Finding consistency at the middle linebacker position has been almost non-existent for the Carolina Panthers since the days of Luke Kuechly and Thomas Davis. Damien Wilson was the latest to fill the void after his arrival in free agency, but this didn’t come with the production many hoped from a player that attained 106 tackles with the Jacksonville Jaguars in 2021.

Wilson’s struggled in coverage, which isn’t unexpected based on his career so far. There are times when he’s flashed in the run game and when creating pressure, but it’s not happening frequently enough and this is a major problem.

The Panthers have run out of patience with Wilson, it seems. The one-time Super Bowl winner with the Kansas City Chiefs hasn’t seen the defensive rotation during the three games before Carolina’s bye week, which is a damning indictment of how his performance levels are being perceived.

With a $4.68 million salary cap hit next season, it’s highly likely Wilson’s stay in Carolina will be a short-term arrangement. This comes with an eye-catching cap saving of $3.61 million and a dead-cap figure of $1.07 million, which represents a probable outcome when one considers the financial constraints facing the organization in 2023.

Had Wilson cemented his starting spot and provided an upgrade, things might be different. Unfortunately for the Minnesota product, that is not the case and when the time comes, this should be an easy call to make.