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 /
3 of 5
Carolina Panthers
(Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports) James Bradberry /

Carolina Panthers don’t want to see James Bradberry

Despite not being re-signed by the Carolina Panthers in 2020, James Bradberry still is an elite cornerback. In his three seasons since leaving, he has ten interceptions. And last season with the Philadelphia Eagles, he earned second-team All-Pro honors.

Bradberry will command a lot of money this off-season, and for a good reason. He is one of the premier coverage corners in the NFL and if an NFC South rival signs him, that would be bad news for the Panthers.

The former second-round pick will be motivated if he faces his former team again. Bradberry picked off Sam Darnold in a 25-3 win for the New York Giants in 2021 when he last went up against his old employers.

Facing the Panthers twice a season is something he would relish. And wide receivers like Terrace Marshall Jr. will have a tough matchup against the one-time Samford Bulldog.

Despite entering his eighth year in the NFL, Bradberry has a lot left in the tank and has shown no signs of regression. In particular, the Atlanta Falcons and Tampa Bay Buccaneers have a need for a top cornerback, and the New Orleans Saints could pair him next to Marshon Lattimore.

Bradberry would shine on any of those teams, and Carolina would have to play against him twice a season. That is something they could do without.