3 Carolina Panthers players who should be benched for 2023 season finale

It's time to take these players out of the firing line.

Ikem Ekwonu
Ikem Ekwonu / Bob Donnan-USA TODAY Sports
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Which Carolina Panthers players should be benched for their 2023 regular-season finale against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers?

It was another embarrassing defeat for the Carolina Panthers. What transpired in David Tepper's suite took center stage, but those on the field didn't exactly cover themselves in glory either en route to a shutout road reverse against the Jacksonville Jaguars.

The Panthers haven't had anything to play for other than pride over the second half of the 2023 season. Their fate was sealed after an abysmal start left offseason aspirations in tatters. With one game remaining, everyone across the franchise - fanbase included - is crawling toward the finishing line.

Big changes are coming once again this offseason. The Panthers need a new head coach. They need a clear plan for sustainable success. They need to surround Bryce Young with more quality. They might even need another general manager if Tepper decides to wield the axe on Scott Fitterer.

That's for the not-too-distant future. For now, here are three Panthers players who should be benched for their regular-season finale against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.

Cade Mays - Carolina Panthers OL

The Cade Mays experiment is over. He cannot provide the consistency needed for a starting role. While the contract is cheap, there's no great confidence in his chances of developing further entering Year 3 of his professional career.

It's not like the Carolina Panthers are blessed with prominent offensive line options across the depth chart. This could mean Mays gets a reprieve in Week 18. He also left Sunday's game at the Jacksonville Jaguars with an injury, so risking further damage in a meaningless clash wouldn't be smart from the player's perspective.

Sit him out next weekend. Let the new coaching staff decide his future impartially. That's about it to be perfectly honest, because keeping him on the field is doing more harm than good.

Speaking of which…