4 Carolina Panthers free agents to extend on the cheap in 2024

The new regime needs to find value in free agency this year.

Troy Hill
Troy Hill / Bob Donnan-USA TODAY Sports
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Carolina Panthers should extend Yetur Gross-Matos

Yetur Gross-Matos seemed like a lost cause heading into the 2023 season. His first three years with the Carolina Panthers weren't close to the level expected of a high-end second-round selection. Many wondered what his future might hold under Ejiro Evero and whether he could transition to a 3-4 outside linebacker role.

This was a career crossroads in no uncertain terms for Gross-Matos. Instead of wallowing and accepting his fate, the edge presence rolled up his sleeves and got to work. Something that paid off with a much-improved campaign.

There was a newfound confidence in Gross-Matos that hadn't been seen previously. His additional experience saw him become more disciplined in terms of gap discipline against the run. He generated pressure consistently from 63 percent of Carolina's defensive snaps, earning a creditable 65.4 grade from Pro Football Focus as a result of his efforts.

More importantly, Gross-Matos did his chances of earning another deal the world of good. Evero being retained along with the majority of defensive coaches will enhance his hopes further. However, much will also depend on what his representatives demand when it's time to begin negotiations.

While Gross-Matos improved in a contract year, his overall body of work suggests nothing more than a short-term, team-friendly deal should be offered. If the Penn State product thrives next season, the Panthers could then offer him more money long-term.

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