4 offseason moves that are making the Carolina Panthers look dumb

It's been one disaster after another.

Scott Fitterer
Scott Fitterer / Trevor Ruszkowski-USA TODAY Sports
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Carolina Panthers signed Miles Sanders

When the Carolina Panthers traded Christian McCaffrey to the San Francisco 49ers, it left a gaping hole in their offensive strategy. The All-Pro was the focal point every week. He produced exceptional numbers despite going through various injury ailments as the team's workhorse. He remains sorely missed.

Fear not, Scott Fitterer had a plan. It didn't involve keeping around the highly productive D'Onta Foreman on a cheap extension. Oh no, shelling out decent money for a free agent despite the growing trend around the league was the chosen course of action.

The Panthers gave Miles Sanders a four-year, $25.4 million contract with a $5.9 million signing bonus and $13 million guaranteed. A strange route to go for many, but he was coming off a Pro Bowl campaign with the Philadelphia Eagles and harbored ambitions to be the three-down backfield presence worthy of replacing McCaffrey.

Much like the situation with Frank Reich, it didn't take long to conclude this was a mistake. Sanders lacked the vision and explosiveness needed to make any sort of impact. Injuries didn't help, but the former second-round pick lost his starting job to Chuba Hubbard and has been a bit-part player over the second half of 2023.

The Panthers are facing the prospect of eating substantial dead cap money to get rid of Sanders. It also represents another in a long line of personnel errors from the beleaguered Fitterer.