4 players the Carolina Panthers will miss the most in 2024

These departures will be sorely felt.
Brian Burns
Brian Burns / Bob Donnan-USA TODAY Sports
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Carolina Panthers will miss Frankie Luvu

Frankie Luvu's exceptional emergence was one of the largest surprises to come out of the recent string of seasons for the Carolina Panthers.

An unheralded depth signing that quickly supplanted the existing rotation and cemented himself as a top-flight starter in this league. The Panthers made Luvu an offer to stay, but it wasn't good enough and he signed for the Washington Commanders soon after the legal tampering period began.

Luvu led the team in total tackles with a staggering 125. He was second only to the aforementioned Brian Burns in sacks with 5.5, while simultaneously having a nose for the football that saw the linebacker in on every play.

This kind of football IQ is not easily replaced. While the players brought in during free agency are good, it would be a stretch to say that any will perform to the ability that Luvu brought to the table.

Luvu can run sideline to sideline, cover crossing routes when needed, and rush the quarterback with purpose. You don't find three-down linebackers like that every day in this league. Dan Morgan should know that better than anybody having played the position himself.

This is just another in a long series of players that the Panthers developed into stars only to see them depart. It is truly sad to see the void at linebacker grow even larger. There is no guarantee that Shaq Thompson will be anywhere near the same player after the devastating injury that the aging defender suffered last season.

At least after the Burns trade the Panthers still had Luvu to be the fire and soul of the defense. There just isn't anyone there to lead anymore. It will be interesting to see who steps up to take that mantle this season.

The Panthers had a severe lack of pass rush going into the offseason and that got even worse with the loss of Luvu.