3 Carolina Panthers backups who could become starters in 2023

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Marquis Haynes Sr. - Carolina Panthers OLB

Although the prospect of picking up another edge rusher cannot be dismissed - especially considering how much salary-cap space is available to the Carolina Panthers - there's also a quiet level of confidence about the options available and how much progress they can make under legitimate NFL coaches.

It's a big risk to take and will pile additional pressure on Brian Burns if nobody steps up. But the Panthers at last can be safe in the knowledge they have plenty of financial resources to solve this riddle if those already on the books don't meet objectives.

This could be the opportunity Marquis Haynes Sr. has been waiting for. The former Ole Miss star has done more with less on a rotational basis since joining the Panthers, which indicates more is on the way from a starting berth if the coaching staff is impressed enough during the summer.

Haynes made his intentions clear in no uncertain terms on the first day of Carolina's mandatory minicamp, generating pressure at will and displaying his customary high-end work ethic. Things obviously need to continue in the same manner when the pads come on at Wofford College, but the edge defender is off to a good start.

Others such as Yetur Gross-Matos, Amare Barno, and perhaps even third-round pick D.J. Johnson fancy their chances of involvement. However, there's also a strong possibility that Haynes surges from a projected backup into the starting outside linebacker position opposite Burns by the time Week 1 at the Atlanta Falcons rolls around.