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

Dean Jones
(Photo by Jared C. Tilton/Getty Images) Shaq Thompson
(Photo by Jared C. Tilton/Getty Images) Shaq Thompson /
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Carolina Panthers
(Bob Donnan-USA TODAY Sports) Marquis Haynes /

Marquis Haynes – Carolina Panthers DE

Finding consistent pass-rushing opposite stud defensive end Brian Burns has been difficult for the Carolina Panthers this season. Yetur Gross-Matos is improving against the run, but there’s no consistency causing havoc in opposing backfields and it would be a surprise if those in power didn’t strengthen this area in free agency or the 2023 NFL Draft.

The performances of Marquis Haynes are more encouraging. He’s once again putting up decent numbers from a key rotational role, which has led many to call for the Ole Miss product to be introduced into the starting lineup down the stretch.

Haynes flashes moments of brilliance. His pass-rushing repertoire is improving with every passing year and although there is work to do on run-stopping, this is the sort of player every team looking to contend needs on their depth chart.

Money trumps all in the NFL. Something the Panthers don’t have much of unless some contract restructures or early releases occur ahead of free agency.

This would be a little harsh on Haynes, there’s no doubt about it. However, his release comes with a dead-cap figure of just $500,000 and a cap saving of $3 million, which will provoke a discussion if nothing else.

Of all the options on this list, Haynes is the least likely to depart. And this scenario would raise more than a few eyebrows given his proven production from lower down the pecking order.

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