5 free-agent linebackers the Carolina Panthers could sign in 2023

(Photo by Mitchell Leff/Getty Images) Kyzir White
(Photo by Mitchell Leff/Getty Images) Kyzir White /
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Which linebackers set to his free agency could be great additions to the Carolina Panthers’ defense in 2023?

A new-look coaching staff for the Carolina Panthers signals a change of schemes on both sides of the ball. New defensive coordinator Ejiro Evero brings a creative 3-4 base scheme, which needs players that fit his system and improve depth.

One of those positions is linebacker.

Shaq Thompson has had a solid career with the Panthers. But that looks to be ending within the next year or two, or potentially this off-season depending on how discussions between the players and general manager Scott Fitterer go about re-doing his contract.

Brandon Smith is promising but still unproven. Both Damien Wilson and Cory Littleton are unlikely to return in 2023.

Carolina could sign a linebacker to a short-term contract, try to add to their core with a long-term contract for the right player, or stand pat and focus on other roster needs.

No matter what the Panthers do with the linebacker position in free agency, adding another one would give Evero options and flexibility in games to move Frankie Luvu and Jeremy Chinn around the defense to utilize their versatility.

With these things in mind, who are five free-agent linebackers that the Panthers could sign?