5 bold predictions for the Carolina Panthers 2023 offseason

(Bob Donnan-USA TODAY Sports) Shaq Thompson
(Bob Donnan-USA TODAY Sports) Shaq Thompson /
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Bold predictions for what promises to be a monumentally important offseason for the Carolina Panthers in 2023.

It was interesting to witness the Carolina Panthers evolve into a competitive outfit in 2022. This came primarily due to Matt Rhule being fired after just five weeks, which gave everyone a huge lift and something that enabled Steve Wilks to go 6-6 and narrowly miss out on playoff football.

This puts the Panthers in a good position heading into a critical offseason for the franchise. Many complex riddles need solving in the coming months, which will shape Carolina’s short and long-term aspirations next season and beyond.

Fans are approaching the down period with nervous excitement. There is enough to suggest Carolina can become a surprise package next time around, but influential figures within the organization must make the correct choices in pursuit of becoming relevant at last.

With this in mind, here are five bold predictions for the Panthers’ 2023 offseason.

Bold Prediction No. 1

Carolina Panthers
(Jim Dedmon-USA TODAY Sports) Shaq Thompson /

Carolina Panthers trade Shaq Thompson

One of the biggest talking points is what the Carolina Panthers are going to do with Shaq Thompson. The linebacker is still playing at a relatively high level, but his $24.46 million cap hit in 2023 indicates he might not be around much longer.

Whether the Panthers release or trade Thompson, the financial ramifications are the same. Knowing general manager Scott Fitterer’s preference for additional draft capital, getting something back in return for a player that might be a salary-cap casualty will be discussed.

One thing that could hinder this scenario is potential interest. Teams might be unwilling to part ways with a pick – even if it is a late-rounder – for someone that’s likely to be a free agent in any case.