5 burning questions Panthers fans are asking ahead of 2023 offseason

(Bob Donnan-USA TODAY Sports) Bradley Bozeman
(Bob Donnan-USA TODAY Sports) Bradley Bozeman /
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Potential free agents the Carolina Panthers could target

We’ve been looking at the draft order but I’m curious whether there are any free agents that we could add to improve the team. – Wilson

This is something I am now just getting into, Wilson. That’s because we have a clear idea of what Scott Fitterer will be targeting this offseason pending who the next head coach will be.

Let’s begin with the wide receiver position. Fitterer mentioned he wanted vertical speed and there are plenty of viable options on the open market this offseason. Kansas City Chiefs receiver Mecole Hardman looks like a potential fan-favorite, as he boasts the blazing speed to blow the top off defenses with a market value projected at $11 million per year according to Spotrac.

Another receiver I would mention is Paris Campbell, another speedy player with a similar skill set. But he looks more like a gadget piece, which is the role Laviska Sheanult Jr. currently bestows.

At the tight end spot, there are a lot of big names such as Mike Gesicki, Dalton Schultz, Evan Engram, Austin Hooper, Robert Tonyan, and Irv Smith Jr. All of them have a range of market value between $5 million and $15 million per year. Again, Fitterer has the ability to move money around and it would not be difficult to land any of these on the open market.

Fitterer said Carolina will be looking for speed at linebacker and within their pass rush. Cleveland’s Anthony Walker and Pittsburgh’s Devin Bush are potential targets at linebacker while Indianapolis Colts edge presence Yannick Ngakoue and Jadaveon Clowney look to be viable options and a steady veteran presence up front.

At cornerback, I don’t expect any additions. The top four corners on the roster are likely Jaycee Horn, Donte Jackson, C.J. Henderson, and Keith Taylor Jr. plus a potential rookie. I could see Josh Norman returning as a depth piece after returning to the Panthers before Week 17.