4 ways the Carolina Panthers can avoid offseason disaster in 2023

(Photo by Grant Halverson/Getty Images) David Tepper
(Photo by Grant Halverson/Getty Images) David Tepper /
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Carolina Panthers
(Rich Barnes-USA TODAY Sports) Shaq Thompson /

Carolina Panthers must remove sentiment

A great deal of sentiment is attached to Carolina Panthers players past and present. The likes of Cam Newton, Luke Kuechly, Thomas Davis, Steve Smith, Greg Olsen, and countless others remain beloved by the fanbase long after their respective departures, but those in power would be wise to remember the NFL is a business when push comes to shove.

Every offseason comes with difficult choices. Considering the need for Carolina to provide their new head coach with additional salary-cap space, they’ll have more than their fair share in the coming weeks.

Players could be traded or allowed to hit the free-agent market. In players like Shaq Thompson‘s case, an early release could be the answer.

There’s no doubt that Thompson is playing some of the best football of his career. The linebacker’s consistency and leadership came on again in 2022, but there are some significant financial factors to consider before his future is confirmed.

Thompson is set to count $24.46 million against Carolina’s salary cap next season. Releasing the one-time Washington star saves more than $13 million, which must be considered despite the esteem in which he is held across the franchise.

Removing sentiment from every personnel decision is the right way to approach things. Anything else will cause severe complications.