4 Carolina Panthers who robbed the team blind in 2023

These individuals didn't match their lofty price tags.

Miles Sanders
Miles Sanders / Bob Donnan-USA TODAY Sports
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Which Carolina Panthers didn't provide much bang for their buck during one of the worst seasons in franchise history?

After so much optimism before the season, things have spiraled completely out of control for the Carolina Panthers in 2023. Just two wins from their opening 16 games is a damning indictment of the culture and strategy implemented by the organization. It's going to take a long time and tremendous effort across the board to fix this mess.

Fans are disillusioned and disengaged beyond measure. David Tepper is in absolute shambles as arguably the league's worst owner. Very few on the roster can say they met expectations. Another head coaching search is on the immediate horizon - the third overall and second in consecutive years under the billionaire's leadership.

It'll be another whirlwind offseason full of changes. This doesn't exactly scream stability from a franchise that hasn't enjoyed back-to-back winning seasons since its inception. The moves lauded throughout the preparation period didn't pay off effectively. This has to change if the Panthers want to provide any semblance of hope for the future.

With this in mind, here are four Panthers who robbed the team blind in 2023.

Ian Thomas - Carolina Panthers TE

This is the Carolina Panthers' fault, in all honesty. They're the ones that handed Ian Thomas a lucrative contract extension to prevent him from leaving in 2022 free agency. Considering how much of a non-factor he became in the passing game once Greg Olsen left, it was shocking at the time and even more so now.

Thomas is a decent enough blocker, for the most part. He remains an inconsistent route-runner lacking the confidence or effort to make a difference. His contribution was minimal at best this season, making the former fourth-round selection a prime cut candidate heading into the final year of his deal.

The cap savings aren't as much as the dead money Carolina will accumulate in this scenario. Thomas' deal represents another suspect financial decision from the front office regarding an underperforming Panthers player.