4 affordable free-agent targets for Carolina Panthers this offseason

The Carolina Panthers need to maximize every available resource...

Donovan Peoples-Jones
Donovan Peoples-Jones / Jamie Sabau-USA TODAY Sports
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Which affordable free agents could the Carolina Panthers target in 2024 as the new regime looks to make the best out of minimal resources?

The Carolina Panthers are about to navigate a pivotal period of recruitment. Those in power are currently busy trimming the fat to put themselves in a better long-term position. It's going to take time, so nobody should be expecting miracles right away.

After the Panthers placed the franchise tag on Brian Burns, they have just over $13 million in salary-cap space available. Contract restructures and further releases could see this increase, but the new regime must be prudent with the resources available to avoid any unnecessary complications down the road.

This is the mess Dan Morgan and Brandt Tilis inherited - something made worse by the fact Carolina doesn't have the No. 1 overall pick in the 2024 NFL Draft as part of their trade-up for quarterback Bryce Young. It's all about damage limitation currently. A more collaborative approach and renewed purpose could also lead to a shrewder decision-making process.

With this in mind, here are four affordable free agents the Panthers could sign in 2024.

Carolina Panthers could sign Ezra Cleveland

Looking at the reports surfacing from respected beat writers such as Joe Person of The Athletic, the Carolina Panthers will be looking to fortify their offensive line in free agency. This bears more significance on the interior, which is similar to how the New Orleans Saints went about protecting their shorter-than-average quarterback - Drew Brees - with great success during his glittering career.

Finding more athleticism at a cost that fits the organization would be preferred. This is also a deep draft class for offensive linemen that the Panthers should take advantage of. Someone like Ezra Cleveland could be a cost-effective veteran worth considering before that.

Cleveland was a second-round pick by the Minnesota Vikings before spending last season on the Jacksonville Jaguars. He was solid last season, giving up three sacks from 749 snaps. It might not be the most spectacular signing, but the Panthers aren't exactly in a position to splash the cash on more prominent free agents.

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