Shy Tuttle - Carolina Panthers DL
The Carolina Panthers managed to secure the services of Shy Tuttle in free agency. His production as part of the New Orleans Saints defensive front left reasons for encouragement. It was widely expected that the veteran would slot into a starting 3-4 defensive end role opposite Derrick Brown. Unfortunately, some severe personnel mismanagement put pay to these projections.
Despite being listed as the team's starting nose tackle late into training camp, the Panthers released Marquan McCall. This was largely due to some injury concerns that came up. Something those in power felt was risky enough to cut their losses entirely.
They were well within the right to part ways with McCall. It wasn't replacing him effectively that represented the biggest complication. This also has a lingering effect on Tuttle's ability to make an immediate impact.
The Panthers put Tuttle as the nose tackle, which didn't suit his particular skill set. He's not big enough to hold down the interior and clog up the space needed for others to thrive. He was constantly overwhelmed as a result, making the Panthers an easy target up the middle.
Carolina gave up 122.4 yards per game on the ground in 2023. Not having a genuine nose tackle played a leading role behind their indifferent production. Tuttle tried valiantly with the odds stacked against him, but it was clear from early on that the Panthers' gamble on their defensive front wasn't going to pay off.