4 Carolina Panthers players who could be spared after 2024 salary-cap hike

The bigger than expected raise could be good news for these Carolina Panthers players.

Donte Jackson
Donte Jackson / Bob Donnan-USA TODAY Sports
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Adam Thielen - Carolina Panthers WR

Adam Thielen was one of the very few bright spots to emerge from the 2023 season. Initially thought of as a possession wide receiver when joining the Carolina Panthers, circumstances dictated a shift in course. The former undrafted free agent was forced to become quarterback Bryce Young's primary option in the passing game. There was nobody else to depend upon.

This was a responsibility handled extremely well. Thielen seemed like the only wideout capable of creating separation. His ball skills became a tremendous asset for Young to call upon. This resulted in his first 1,000-yard receiving season since 2018.

Despite such a positive campaign, Thielen's future under the new regime remains under a cloud. The veteran hinted that he could be forced to seek a move away in a bid to end his career somewhere with a legitimate chance of contending. The Panthers might also be considering an early release to save $3.75 million with a post-June 1 designation.

Now that the Panthers have some extra financial wiggle room, they could decide to keep Thielen around. Reinforcements will arrive in the wide receiver room through free agency and the 2024 NFL Draft. Moving forward with the experienced pass-catcher would allow him to enhance chemistry with Young heading into a pivotal sophomore campaign for the signal-caller.

However, he might not fancy another year after getting sold dreams the Panthers weren't capable of reaching.