4 ambitious free-agent targets for the Carolina Panthers in 2023

(Rich Barnes-USA TODAY Sports) Tremaine Edmunds
(Rich Barnes-USA TODAY Sports) Tremaine Edmunds /
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What free agents represent ambitious targets for the Carolina Panthers as they look to launch a potential NFC South title challenge in 2023?

Expect the news to be plentiful where the Carolina Panthers are concerned as pre-free agency preparations conclude. There is a real opportunity for the franchise to emerge from irrelevancy and into the playoff picture under Frank Reich in 2023, but having an all-star coaching staff counts for nothing if the players cannot meet increased demands.

General manager Scott Fitterer is now in control of personnel after Matt Rhule was forcibly removed. Although the process is more collaborative than ever, the front office figure is carrying the can and could pay with his job if his acquisitions don’t meet their targets.

That’s the glass-half-empty side of things. For the Panthers and its long-suffering fanbase, hope springs eternal after things couldn’t have gone much better during the offseason so far.

Going bold in free agency would help. With this in mind, here are four ambitious targets the Panthers could sign when the frenzy begins next week.

Free Agent No. 1

Carolina Panthers
(Douglas DeFelice-USA TODAY Sports) Jamel Dean /

Carolina Panthers could sign Jamel Dean

After a season of lackluster cornerback production outside of Jaycee Horn, something has to be done. There’s a chance C.J. Henderson and Keith Taylor Jr. can improve with superior coaching, but the Carolina Panthers cannot sit around in the hope two underperforming players bounce back in the manner required.

Targeting Jamel Dean solves that in an instant. It also weakens an NFC South rival after the Tampa Bay Buccaneers opted not to use the franchise tag in 2023.