4 Carolina Panthers players with soaring stock after 2024 free agency

Things are looking up for these Carolina Panthers players...

Xavier Woods
Xavier Woods / Bob Donnan-USA TODAY Sports
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Xavier Woods - Carolina Panthers S

It seemed like no established veteran - out of contract or otherwise - was safe aside from a select few. Dan Morgan and Dave Canales assessed the roster with professionalism and no sentiment attached to their thought process. They eventually decided to take some financial hits in the short term by removing several stars from the equation.

Brian Burns, Vonn Bell, Bradley Bozeman, Donte Jackson, Frankie Luvu, Hayden Hurst, and others were either released, traded, or took their chances elsewhere. Some fans didn't like such a drastic cull, but Morgan felt like it was the only way this failing organization was going to rise from proverbial obscurity and back into contention.

One player that got a reprieve - and deservedly so - was Xavier Woods. The veteran safety missed three games due to injury last season, but his production was stellar as a backend enforcer and exceptional communicator across the secondary.

Woods becomes the undisputed leader of Carolina's defensive back unit. The Panthers re-signed Sam Franklin as a depth option and acquired Jordan Fuller in free agency, but there is no doubt who the top dog is heading into the 2024 NFL Draft.

It might be worth the Panthers identifying another talented prospect to give the safety unit a fresh injection of energy. That said, defensive coordinator Ejiro Evero will be relying heavily on Woods to produce consistent performances and continue his evolution into one of the team's locker-room leaders.