4 biggest surprises of Carolina Panthers 2023 free agency so far

Scott Fitterer
Scott Fitterer / Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports
4 of 4
Carolina Panthers
Adam Thielen / Matt Krohn-USA TODAY Sports

Carolina Panthers became an attractive destination

While nobody is expecting the Carolina Panthers to contend for a Super Bowl in 2023, that has not stopped influential figures within the organization from selling their project extremely well throughout free agency. Something that's made them an attractive destination for proven veterans when other offers were on the table. 

This is especially surprising given how the Panthers were perceived when Matt Rhule was running the team into the ground. Frank Reich is highly respected in league circles and David Tepper's financial clout enabled his head coach to form a staff now considered among the league's best. 

They clearly feel like something special is building. Based on the players acquired by Carolina in free agency, it's a notion the likes of Adam Thielen, Miles Sanders, Hayden Hurst, Vonn Bell, and D.J. Chark agree with. 

The aforementioned players clearly had interest from elsewhere. So joining the Panthers represents a real coup and further evidence of the franchise doing things right at long last. 

Of course, this will count for nothing if it cannot click together once the preparation period ramps up. But everything is now in place for someone like C.J. Stroud or Bryce Young to immediately emerge into the franchise quarterback Carolina's been craving since Cam Newton took the NFL by storm. 

Next. Carolina Panthers 7-round mock: Pro days provide clear picture. dark