4 Carolina Panthers we already know will (probably) be gone in 2024 at the bye

D.J. Chark
D.J. Chark / Vincent Carchietta-USA TODAY Sports
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Justin Houston - Carolina Panthers OLB

The Carolina Panthers were in desperate need of pass-rushing assistance to put opposite Brian Burns before the 2023 season. Just when it looked like those in power might stick with what they have, veteran Justin Houston agreed to come on board with a fully guaranteed $6 million deal attached.

Hopes were high for Houston after the four-time Pro Bowler gained 9.5 sacks with the Baltimore Ravens in 2022. Sadly for the player and the Panthers, he's not been nearly as productive.

In 42 percent of the team's defensive snaps, Houston has 0.5 sacks. Even with rotational involvement, that's extremely disappointing and could be a sign that the Georgia product has fallen off the proverbial cliff.

Father time waits for no man. Houston's fought it off better than most edge rushers over recent years, but there comes a moment in every player's career when the production doesn't match the salary more often than not.

This was a win-now move by the Panthers and in keeping with the bold projections declared by general manager Scott Fitterer before the campaign. Now that's obviously not going to be the case, there appears little doubt that Houston and Carolina will go their separate ways this offseason once his contract expires - even if there is $3.868 million spread out over the next four voided years.

Even if the production improves, this will remain a short-term arrangement. Another swing and a miss by a front office becoming renowned for flawed personnel decisions.