3 NFC South departures the Carolina Panthers won't miss in 2024

No Carolina Panthers fan will be sad to see them go...

Shaquil Barrett
Shaquil Barrett / Kim Klement Neitzel-USA TODAY Sports
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Carolina Panthers won't miss Michael Thomas

Michael Thomas has been something of an enigma over the past few seasons. The wide receiver dealt with lingering injury issues that made him a nonexistent presence in the New Orleans Saints' passing attack over the last three years. Things went a little better on the health front in 2023, but he was far from the force of old.

That said, nobody within the Carolina Panthers will be sad to see the back of Thomas, who hasn't been retained as yet and remains a free agent. He was one of the league's best once upon a time, displaying the sort of route-running prowess and playmaking ability that made him almost impossible to stop.

Thomas' two consecutive All-Pro seasons in 2018 and 2019 were nothing short of astonishing. Things didn't go well through no fault of his own after that, but nobody can dispute he was No. 1 for wide receivers league-wide at the peak of his powers.

What the future holds for Thomas is unclear. Teams are looking towards an exceptionally deep wide receiver draft class for difference-makers before turning to veteran pieces at this stage of the recruitment process. Once the draft concludes, perhaps another opportunity will arrive. But it won't be the same.

The former second-round pick out of Ohio State was a constant thorn in Carolina's side. Now, they must counteract the threat posed by Chris Olave, who's more of a downfield threat than a route aficionado such as Thomas.