4 Carolina Panthers players who don’t deserve another season in 2023

(Photo by Jared C. Tilton/Getty Images) Damien Wilson
(Photo by Jared C. Tilton/Getty Images) Damien Wilson /
2 of 4
Carolina Panthers
(Bob Donnan-USA TODAY Sports) Pat Elflein /

Pat Elflein – Carolina Panthers OL

In fairness to Pat Elflein, his production improved somewhat before a serious injury ruled him out for the entire campaign. This was a blow to the offensive lineman, who performed far better at the center spot than he ever did as a guard with the Carolina Panthers or New York Jets.

Elflein got a three-year deal with a pretty lucrative sum attached at the start of 2021 free agency. A move that seemed strange at the time, and it didn’t take long to figure out that the former Ohio State star and Cameron Erving were never going to reach their billing.

Bradley Bozeman’s introduction into the starting lineup came with an immediate upgrade in production and leadership. Something that’s led to deafening calls from the fanbase to give him a long-term extension, which would prevent the player from leaving in free agency.

Much will depend on whether terms can be reached with Bozeman. But factoring everything into the equation, those in power would be running a pretty big risk by bringing Elflein back based on his overall consistency since joining the Panthers.

Releasing Elflein with one year remaining on his deal saves the Panthers around $4.26 million and comes with $2.8 million in dead money. Not a huge sum, but enough to make cutting ties a realistic possibility.