5 Panthers cornerstones to build around for success beyond 2022

(Photo by Maddie Meyer/Getty Images) Ikem Ekwonu
(Photo by Maddie Meyer/Getty Images) Ikem Ekwonu /
1 of 5

Which Carolina Panthers players have emerged as franchise cornerstones to build around for future success beyond the 2022 campaign?

The Carolina Panthers have now concluded their extended period of rest during the bye week, which is the perfect time to recuperate and refocus for the final five games of 2022. It’s been relatively encouraging across the organization since Matt Rhule was fired, with the former head coach not exactly covering himself in glory with his media blitz pointing the blame everywhere but where it belongs.

That’s in the past and the sooner Carolina brings closure to Rhule’s pathetic reign, the better. Steve Wilks is not cut from the same cloth – a truthful, proud man that commands instant respect, which is bringing about much-improved performances and results.

The Panthers are not out of the playoff mix just yet. A strong end to the campaign is needed, but regardless of what transpires, there is real hope genuine development can emerge under Wilks or someone else.

With this in mind, here are five franchise cornerstones the Panthers can build around for future success in 2023 and beyond.

Cornerstone No. 1

Carolina Panthers
(Bob Donnan-USA TODAY Sports) D.J. Moore /

D.J. Moore – Carolina Panthers WR

After deciding not to trade D.J. Moore to the Green Bay Packers for a first-round selection before the deadline, it’s clear how valued the wide receiver is by the Carolina Panthers. This was further reflected in the bumper new contract extension given to the player before the 2022 campaign began.

It’s been a down year for Moore through no fault of his own. Carolina’s quarterback carousel and Ben McAdoo’s often bland scheme have contributed significantly, but that does not detract from what an outstanding weapon the former Maryland standout is when used correctly.

The Panthers need a better plan under center, which will hopefully arrive next spring. Whoever comes into the fold, Moore will be counted upon heavily to smooth their transition.