3 emerging alphas on the Carolina Panthers roster in 2024

Bryce Young
Bryce Young / Jeremy Reper-USA TODAY Sports
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Xavier Woods - Carolina Panthers S

There weren't many bright spots on the Carolina Panthers last season. It was another campaign that promised much and delivered little. Xavier Woods' production was an undoubted highlight from an otherwise underwhelming 2023 for the franchise during its freefall to rock bottom.

Woods quietly became one of the Panthers' most important defensive players. The former sixth-round selection was a model of consistency on the backend production-wise. He also improved his ability to communicate and keep everyone in their required positions with new defensive coordinator Ejiro Evero's 3-4 base scheme.

Dan Morgan parted ways with several veterans this offseason as part of his roster revamp. The general manager was wise to keep Woods around entering the final year of his deal. If the same trend continues in 2024, a new deal isn't entirely out of the question.

This is a fantastic story. Woods came crashing down to earth over his final season with the Dallas Cowboys. After getting back to something like his old self during his one campaign with the Minnesota Vikings, he signed for the Panthers and thrived.

The Louisiana Tech product has a new safety partner in the form of Jordan Fuller. This has the makings of a strong tandem if they manage to stay clear of injury. If Woods can also continue to emerge as a locker room alpha, the better Carolina's chances will be.

Woods' performance levels won't be going unnoticed by those around the league. Another strong campaign could see him become a hot commodity on the free-agent market if those in power don't utilize the franchise tag - which appears highly unlikely. Unless the money matches his demands and the Panthers demonstrate legitimate growth, this could be his last season in Charlotte.

Hopefully, some common ground can be reached and Woods will stay in Carolina beyond the campaign. After all, this franchise has had enough upheaval to last a lifetime.