4 Carolina Panthers who can make themselves major money in 2024

These Carolina Panthers players have some financial incentive in 2024.
Taylor Moton
Taylor Moton / Jim Dedmon-USA TODAY Sports
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Diontae Johnson - Carolina Panthers WR

The Carolina Panthers are expecting big things from Diontae Johnson in 2024. After most in the wide receiver room failed to deliver during a campaign to forget last time around, general manager Dan Morgan struck with conviction to acquire one of the best route-runners around.

Carolina gave up almost nothing to get Johnson via trade from the Pittsburgh Steelers. Donte Jackson - who was going to be released before this development became public knowledge - and a late-round pick swap was enough. This is the definition of a low-risk, high-reward pickup for the franchise.

Johnson knows how to get open. He manipulates opposing cornerbacks through explosive cuts out of his route stems and quick-twitch movements. The former third-round pick excels at finding soft spots in coverage and has the ball skills to make even the slightest window count.

Despite the optimism surrounding Johnson, this is a prove-it year for the wideout. It's the last of his deal, so there should be plenty of motivation for the Pro Bowler to silence his doubters and earn himself a ton of money along the way.

The wide receiver market is propelling to levels not seen before. Justin Jefferson's recent extension with the Minnesota Vikings made him the league's highest-paid non-quarterback. That might not be the case for much longer with pass-catchers such as Ja'Marr Chase and CeeDee Lamb also seeking added financial security.

While Johnson won't be in line for anything like the contract handed to Jefferson, the Panthers would need to cough up a hefty amount to keep him around if he gets back to the form of old. He's also eager to prove people wrong after questions about his character came to light during a turbulent final campaign in Pittsburgh.

Johnson's made a good impression over early workouts and is grinding away from the team with specialist route coaches. When it's all said and done, this could be an outstanding piece of business from Morgan.