4 Carolina Panthers players with unrealistic expectations in 2024

Ja'Tavion Sanders
Ja'Tavion Sanders / Aaron E. Martinez/American-Statesman /
3 of 4

Jadeveon Clowney - Carolina Panthers OLB

Jadeveon Clowney was arguably the highest-profile addition to the Carolina Panthers this offseason. The edge rusher opted to play closer to his roots after those in power offered him a two-year deal. This provided a much-needed boost to the team's pass-rushing options after Brian Burns, Frankie Luvu, and Yetur Gross-Matos all departed.

Clowney never reached the generational hype coming out of South Carolina. However, he's a productive starter and a tremendous asset against the run. The veteran is also coming off the best statistical campaign of his professional career with the Baltimore Ravens to further raise optimism.

There is a lot to like about Clowney's chances of finishing his career on a high in Charlotte. The Panthers are expecting big things from the former No. 1 overall selection. Whether he's capable of reaching them is another matter.

Clowney got a lot of space in which to work last time around thanks to the star-studded Ravens' front seven. That's a luxury he won't necessarily have in Carolina despite the presence of Derrick Brown and A'Shawn Robinson.

How Clowney copes with extra attention from opposing protection schemes is going to be a core component behind any defensive success in 2024. It's something he's experienced before, but the aging player can struggle to generate pressure without prolonged one-on-one looks.

Any expectations for Clowney to become a legitimate No. 1 option capable of reaching double-digit sacks should be tempered. He's averaging 5.25 quarterback takedowns per season over his 10-year career. He's also dealt with injuries, which is something to monitor as the campaign progresses.

For now, optimism is high Clowney can fill the gaping void left by Burns.

Asking him to provide the same dynamic pass-rushing is asking for trouble. At the same time, Ejiro Evero should know exactly how best to maximize Clowney's talent level en route to him potentially becoming an integral piece of the puzzle.