4 Carolina Panthers fan favorites who might not be back in 2024

Could it be the end for these popular figures?

Sam Franklin
Sam Franklin / Stephen Lew-USA TODAY Sports
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Sam Franklin - Carolina Panthers S

There aren't many holdovers from the Matt Rhule era playing significant reps these days. Again, it's a damning indictment of David Tepper's hiring decisions. Hopefully, this won't be the case now that the billionaire is receiving assistance from a specially hired consulting firm to assist with the process.

Sam Franklin is one such individual. He continues to impress. The former undrafted free agent out of Temple remains an integral part of the Carolina Panthers' special teams strategy. He also equaled his career-high with 27 percent of the team's defensive snaps in 2023.

Franklin is ultra-aggressive. He'll never shirk a challenge or back down in the face of adversity. On occasions this season, it seemed like the player was the sort of guy who could start a fight in an empty phone booth.

These are the characters Carolina's been sorely missing since their glory days in the mid-2010s. Franklin has that never-say-die attitude that goes down well with coaches and teammates. He's not the most talented guy compared to others, but nobody will outdo him for effort.

After using a tender on Franklin last season, the defensive back is once again about to embark on an uncertain future. The benefits of keeping him around are evident, but it could just as easily go the other way all things considered.

If Franklin survived another regime change to stay in Carolina, he can consider that a tremendous accomplishment in the circumstances.