3 trade moves that could make the Carolina Panthers playoff contenders in 2023

- An NFC South rival

- A productive pass-rusher

- Physically imposing WR

Mike Williams
Mike Williams / Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports
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Carolina Panthers could trade for Mike Williams

The wide receiver room consists of several question marks outside of Adam Thielen. I think it’s fair to assume that the free-agent signing could man the slot for the Carolina Panthers, but Mike Williams could be the outside receiver in Charlotte.

Injuries slowed down the former Clemson Tiger in 2022, but he still was productive. In 13 games last season, Williams hauled in 63 receptions and was 105 receiving yards shy of consecutive 1,000-yard campaigns.

The 2017 first-round pick has been one of the best in 50/50 scenarios since entering the league. In fact, it wouldn’t be asinine for Williams to call them 60/40 balls, considering his 2022 contested catch rate was 57.7 percent.

With a Justin Herbert mega-deal on the horizon, Williams could be available if Quentin Johnston is good early. The Los Angeles Chargers have already opted not to extend Austin Ekeler, so trading the veteran wideout could be another precursor to the quarterback's extension.

Having a quarterback on a rookie deal comes with added flexibility. It will be interesting to see how the Panthers capitalize.