3 winners (and 2 losers) from first wave of Carolina Panthers 2024 free agency

It's been a dramatic start to Carolina's recruitment period...

Chuba Hubbard
Chuba Hubbard / Andrew Nelles / The Tennessean / USA
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Winner No. 2

Chuba Hubbard - Carolina Panthers RB

After surging to the No. 1 running back spot in 2023, it seems like the Carolina Panthers are giving Chuba Hubbard the same responsibilities next time around under head coach Dave Canales. Those in power avoided the temptation to acquire one of many highly productive veterans on the market, keeping the status quo with the three individuals who plied their trade with the organization during the previous campaign.

This is a significant vote of confidence in Hubbard, who was Carolina's most productive running back by a considerable margin. When one examines the signings made during the first wave of free agency and Canales' intention to run the football into oblivion, the former fourth-round selection's stock has never been higher.

The additions of Robert Hunt and Damien Lewis provide physicality and violence to the interior that was sorely lacking last season. Hubbard should be one of the primary beneficiaries. Running lanes will appear more frequently, so all signs point to the Oklahoma State product taking another leap forward.

Hubbard is also entering a contract year, so the extra motivation is there for all to see. If Austin Corbett transitions well to the center position and Ikem Ekwonu also bounces back from a torrid sophomore campaign, the first 1,000-yard rushing season of the player's career might not be too far behind.