4 free agents Carolina Panthers were wise to avoid in 2024

The Carolina Panthers were right not to sign these free agents.

Jonathan Greenard
Jonathan Greenard / Troy Taormina-USA TODAY Sports
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Carolina Panthers were wise to avoid Chase Young

The Carolina Panthers need to boost their pass-rushing options despite signing K'Lavon Chaisson and D.J. Wonnum. Trading Brian Burns to the New York Giants - coupled with the departures of Yetur Gross-Matos and Frankie Luvu - leaves them desperately short of players capable of creating consistent pressure in opposing backfields. They are still trying to find the right pieces, but this is arguably their biggest remaining need.

One player that did generate some interest before moving elsewhere was Chase Young. The former No. 2 overall selection in the 2020 NFL Draft came in for a meeting but left without anything concrete emerging. He eventually signed for the New Orleans Saints on a one-year deal that could be worth $13 million if the defensive end hits incentives.

This was a lucky escape from the Panthers.

Young's neck condition that required surgery is something the new regime felt uncomfortable with after medical assessments. They didn't give it the go-ahead - especially considering the cost attached. This does nothing to detract from their need on the edge, but gambling on players like this isn't something general manager Dan Morgan and his staff are willing to do in Carolina's current predicament.

Young might be an asset to the Saints, although he's got a long road ahead to recovery. But considering the concerning complication and his lack of consistent production in recent seasons, it was a luxury the Panthers couldn't afford.