4 Carolina Panthers players fighting for their futures after the 2023 bye week

The stakes could not be higher...
Hayden Hurst
Hayden Hurst / Jim Dedmon-USA TODAY Sports
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Hayden Hurst - Carolina Panthers TE

Big improvements were expected from the tight end room this season. Frank Reich's offenses normally like to get the position involved frequently, which hasn't come to light as yet during an extremely disappointing start to the 2023 campaign.

Not since the days of Greg Olsen have the Carolina Panthers had the benefit of consistent pass-catching production from their tight ends. It was thought Hayden Hurst would change this worrying trend, but aside from an encouraging display in Week 1, it's been pretty mundane overall.

Hurst has the talent and when targets do come his way, he makes plays more often than not. But there's something missing and this is preventing the Panthers offense from getting him involved as much as he would like.

Perhaps the introduction of Thomas Brown as Carolina's new play-caller will spring Hurst into life. If he cannot become more influential, it might be time to go younger and start fresh across the underperforming position group.

The former South Carolina college start was tabbed as someone who could be moved at the trade deadline by Joe Person of The Athletic recently. Cutting the player with a post-June 1 designation would also save the Panthers just over $8 million that could be better spent elsewhere.

Either way, Hurst has to do more. But there is plenty of blame to go around regarding his lack of production in the passing attack.