5 free agents Panthers don’t want to see join NFC South rivals in 2023

(Katie Stratman-USA TODAY Sports) Jessie Bates III
(Katie Stratman-USA TODAY Sports) Jessie Bates III /
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Which free agents do the Carolina Panthers not want to see join their NFC South rivals in 2023?

Free agency negotiations have already begun in the NFL. One of the big signings of the off-season was already completed by one of the Carolina Panthers’ division rivals after the New Orleans Saints agreed to terms with quarterback Derek Carr, signing him to a four-year, $150 million contract with $100 million guaranteed.

The long-term risks of this signing may lead New Orleans to regret it. But in the short-term, this move upgrades the quarterback position for the next couple of seasons, which was their biggest weakness in 2022.

The NFC South is wide-open after the Tampa Bay Buccaneers lost Tom Brady to retirement. And the other three teams in the division, including the Panthers, will be looking to take advantage.

A handful of free agents are available that could heavily impact the 2023 outlook of the NFC South if they were to sign in the division. They are players that Carolina does not want to see with any of their division rivals.

With that in mind, who are the five players the Panthers do not want to see in the NFC South in 2023?

Player No. 1

Carolina Panthers
(Kyle Terada-USA TODAY Sports) Orlando Brown Jr. /

Carolina Panthers don’t want to see Orlando Brown Jr.

Orlando Brown Jr. is a free agent in 2023 and his services will be sought by many teams across the NFL. The Carolina Panthers will be hoping that none of their NFC South rivals are successful in securing the left tackle’s services.

The former Oklahoma standout is an elite force in pass protection, allowing only four sacks in 2022. And he gave up no sacks in Super Bowl 57 against the best pass rush in the NFL.

He could single-handedly neutralize Brian Burns in a head-head matchup against the Panthers’ young star. This forces the pass-rushing burden onto the rest of the front seven in a hypothetical matchup.

The most worrying part of a potential signing in the NFC South is that Brown is only 26 years old. He has another ten seasons in the NFL without any injuries, and he will be a brick wall long-term for whichever team signs him.