4 Carolina Panthers set for bigger roles after early free-agent moves in 2023

Terrace Marshall Jr.
Terrace Marshall Jr. / Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports
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Carolina Panthers
Cade Mays / Jim Dedmon-USA TODAY Sports

Cade Mays - Carolina Panthers OL

After the offensive line made the biggest strides imaginable last season, it was more a case of fine-tuning for the Carolina Panthers this offseason. Bradley Bozeman signing a new contract represents a huge positive, but contending teams always find a way to improve depth no matter how good the starting five might be. 

Justin McCray did come in for this very reason. Cam Erving has yet to be extended and with just five selections in the 2023 NFL Draft after the Panthers take their franchise quarterback, it could see Cade Mays thrust into the spotlight more frequently during his sophomore campaign. 

Mays was taken as a development project in the sixth round last year and was treated as such. Learning from the likes of Bozeman had a big effect on the Tennessee product, who caught the eye when finally introduced into the starting lineup in Week 18 against the New Orleans Saints as a result. 

One thing that the Panthers can use from Mays is his versatility. The lineman can slot in almost anywhere on the protection, which is a nice option to have if Brady Christensen and Austin Corbett's respective recoveries from long-term problems take longer than anticipated. 

If there's something Mays doesn't lack, it's heart. So when or if his big moment arrives, he'll be ready to contribute.

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