4 Carolina Panthers players who cannot afford to regress in 2023

Brady Christensen
Brady Christensen / Bob Donnan-USA TODAY Sports
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Which Carolina Panthers players cannot afford to regress during what promises to be a fascinating 2023 season for the organization under Frank Reich?

Although making wholesale changes normally comes with a period of transition, the Carolina Panthers have nothing but genuine progress on their minds in 2023. David Tepper didn't shell out megabucks for his elite coaching staff to expect anything else, in all honesty.

This extra optimism surrounding Carolina's chances brings a different pressure to what most on the roster have experienced before. All many have been used to is losing and underachieving under the previous regime, so this could provide an extra spark across the board if everything clicks right away.

There will be bumps in the road and it must be a collective effort to get this once-proud organization back among the contenders. That means everyone performing to the level expected and some even far exceeding preseason targets to further assist Carolina's cause.

With this in mind, here are four Panthers players that cannot afford to regress in 2023.

Eddy Pineiro - Carolina Panthers K

After becoming one of the team's biggest surprise packages last season, the Carolina Panthers raised a few eyebrows by extending Eddy Pineiro and trading Zane Gonzalez, who would have been released before the San Francisco 49ers came in with an offer.

This is a gamble, but no more than Pineiro deserves after a standout campaign in 2022. There were the game-costing errors at the Atlanta Falcons that remain etched in the memory, but the kicker was pretty lights out aside from that last season at a position crying out for stability.

While the signs of positive, the life of an NFL kicker is often precarious. If Pineiro cannot attain the same level of consistency, Carolina's decision to keep him around is going to come under severe scrutiny.