4 burning questions Carolina Panthers fans are asking ahead of Week 17

(Bob Donnan-USA TODAY Sports) Taylor Moton
(Bob Donnan-USA TODAY Sports) Taylor Moton /
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Carolina Panthers
(Jim Dedmon-USA TODAY Sports) Shaq Thompson /

Carolina Panthers priorities in 2023

Who are the priorities in the off-season, as far as keeping players? Who do the Carolina Panthers pay versus release in your opinion? – Clyde

Clyde, this is going to be a very interesting offseason and there are plenty of guys I would like to keep.

Let’s start with the two obvious players to bring back. That is Bradley Bozeman and running back D’Onta Foreman.

Both have been key pieces to the Carolina Panthers’ success on the ground this season. Bozeman has become an anchor upfront for a revamped offensive line and must be made a priority to ensure continuity across the protection.

While I’m hesitant to sign Foreman to a big long-term contract, bringing him back on a short-term deal worth $7-10 million per year would be acceptable in my eyes. For Bozeman, he would be around the same range as well or slightly higher.

Safety/nickel Myles Hartsfield, a restricted free agent, and defensive tackle Matthew Ioannidis are two other players I believe the team should look to bring back.

Now, the quarterback situation is one I’d like to answer at another time. However, if there is one player I would be very split on releasing as opposed to keeping, that would be linebacker Shaq Thompson.

While Thompson is one of the leaders on defense, the Panthers could save more than $13 million in cap savings by cutting him in the offseason. I do believe he could be brought back on a reworked deal or in some other capacity.