4 Carolina Panthers players who could be one-and-done in 2023

(Jim Dedmon-USA TODAY Sports) Matt Ioannidis
(Jim Dedmon-USA TODAY Sports) Matt Ioannidis /
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Carolina Panthers
(Bob Donnan-USA TODAY Sports) Eddy Pineiro /

Eddy Pineiro – Carolina Panthers K

Losing Zane Gonzalez to a season-ending injury was a body blow. No sooner had the Carolina Panthers found a stable presence at the kicking spot it all went away, so their next move had to be correct to avoid this crucial element of NFL play becoming a weak link once again.

Considering the late injury to Gonzalez before the campaign, options were limited. But special teams coordinator Chris Tabor’s previous relationship and confidence in Eddy Pineiro saw the stars align quickly.

Aside from Pineiro’s disastrous performance at the Atlanta Falcons, he’s been almost flawless. The Florida product looks assured and clearly benefitted from Steve Wilks sticking with him despite many calling for his release after costing Carolina the game in Week 8.

Pineiro’s made 93.9 percent of his field goal attempts, is two-for-two from beyond 50 yards, and has been successful on 92.9% of his extra points. This is far better than many expected and gives Carolina a difficult decision to make this off-season.

While Pineiro’s form could see him earn another deal with the Panthers, there is the return of Gonzalez to consider. A player that was lights out in 2021 and was deservedly rewarded with an extension that doesn’t run out until 2024.

Carolina might go with a kicking competition in training camp between Gonzalez and Pineiro. But they could decide to keep faith with the player under contract and free up a spot for another positional group.

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