4 grave offseason errors the Carolina Panthers must avoid in 2024

The margin for error is slim.

Dan Morgan
Dan Morgan / Jim Dedmon-USA TODAY Sports
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Carolina Panthers must not overpay free agents

One of the biggest mistakes that any team can make - one the Carolina Panthers have constantly fallen into the trap of in recent years - is overpaying free agents who never live up to their lofty price tags.

Hayden Hurst got a three-year, $21 million deal to garner a total of 184 receiving yards and one touchdown. Miles Sanders secured a four-year, $25 million contract to be a glorified backup to Chuba Hubbard. These are just two of many examples of this problem.

To be fair - much like the draft - it is very hard to predict how a player will fare in a new scheme and with different players around them. However, this does not excuse a player going from Pro Bowl-caliber to one that is actively avoided in most scenarios.

The Panthers have no wiggle room this offseason. Don't let the contract lengths fool you, this new regime is under a very tight leash as ownership and the fanbase alike have lost their patience at this point.

This team has to make smart decisions. Small contracts on players that might have a breakout could be the way to go. They cannot afford to break the bank on another high-priced flop like Sanders or Hurst. The Panthers are not going to contend next year - or even the year after that - so there is no point bringing in high-priced players who probably wouldn't even want to be part of the team anyway.

Given the current state of the team, it will be incredibly difficult to lure anyone in free agency with the allure of culture alone, which means that will have to be made up for in finances. But the Panthers have to be careful just who they spend their money on this offseason.