3 former Carolina Panthers players who failed with their new team in 2023

Things didn;t go well for these former Carolina Panthers players...

Cory Littleton
Cory Littleton / Perry Knotts/GettyImages
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Cory Littleton - Former Carolina Panthers LB

After Cory Littleton flashed quality during his only season with the Carolina Panthers, it wasn't enough to keep the linebacker around. The Pro Bowler penned a deal with the Houston Texans during 2023 free agency, linking up with first-time head coach DeMeco Ryans - a former linebacker boasting big ambitions for the team's future.

This was seen as a low-risk, high-reward pickup. Nothing much was expected of the Texans in 2023 with a new coaching regime and a rookie quarterback in C.J. Stroud who came into the league with unfair criticism about his potential. As it turned out, they far exceeded expectations.

Houston thrived under Ryans' guidance. They reached the postseason and achieved a memorable wildcard round triumph. Many players overperformed, which left Littleton on the outside looking in.

The former Washington college standout featured nine times and played four percent of the team's defensive snaps. Littleton was more of a factor on special teams. There was even a brief stint with the New Orleans Saints in between before being brought back to Houston.

Considering how high hopes were for Littleton upon joining the Texans, one cannot look at how things unfolded with anything other than disappointment. Whether he'll get another shot at carving out another role for himself elsewhere in free agency is another matter.