3 former Carolina Panthers who won’t live up to their new contracts

Will these former Carolina Panthers be worth the money?

Shaquill Griffin
Shaquill Griffin / Courtney Culbreath/GettyImages
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Yetur Gross-Matos - Former Carolina Panthers OLB

As previously stated, the Carolina Panthers defense looks almost unrecognizable from the unit that concluded the 2023 campaign. This is somewhat surprising when one considers how well Ejiro Evero's group performed in difficult circumstances. Injuries were plentiful and the offense gave them no assistance. Despite that, general manager Dan Morgan gutted all three levels in pursuit of better fortunes.

Not many are anticipating the Panthers to enhance their defensive capabilities next season. Investment has transitioned to the offensive side in the hope that quarterback Bryce Young can start living up to expectations. It's a big gamble, but one that was necessary based on the signal-caller's rollercoaster rookie campaign.

One player who was let go with little fanfare attached played his best football under Evero last season. Yetur Gross-Matos flashed real promise after transitioning seamlessly to a 3-4 outside linebacker. The former second-round pick got after the quarterback with more efficiency and remained an asset against the run. Something that came at the best possible time in a contract year.

Gross-Matos' growth didn't go unnoticed by those around the league. The Penn State product signed a two-year, $18 million contract with the San Francisco 49ers. This could result in the player potentially starting in place of Chase Young, who left for the New Orleans Saints.

San Francisco is betting on Gross-Matos thriving further with more accomplished performers around him. Whether this is something he can accomplish is up for debate based on his full body of work in Carolina.