4 players that didn’t live up to the hype during Carolina Panthers tenure

Which former Carolina Panthers players failed to meet expectations?
Sam Darnold
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Which former Carolina Panthers players never lived up to their hype throughout an eventful franchise history spanning nearly 30 years?

For all the good signings made by the Carolina Panthers throughout franchise history, there have been some that couldn't match up to their initial hype. They aren't alone in that regard - every team around the league whiffs on some decisions while others with fewer expectations go on to thrive.

Whether it's big-money acquisitions in free agency, trades, or draft picks, the Panthers have made a few home run hits that didn't pan out as anticipated. This was especially evident under the previous regime, which couldn't properly evaluate or develop professional talent and paid for such incompetence with their jobs.

Thankfully, this sorry state of affairs has been replaced by newfound hope and optimism under head coach Frank Reich and general manager Scott Fitterer. And there is a proper plan for long-term sustainability even if things don't click right away.

Before we focus on the future with Carolina's training camp on the immediate horizon, here are four Panthers players that never quite lived up to their hype.

Sean Gilbert - Former Carolina Panthers DL

After holding out for the entire 1997 season due to a contract dispute with the Washington Redskins, the Carolina Panthers swooped to make stud defensive lineman Sean Gilbert an offer he couldn't refuse. While the player spent five seasons on the team, he never met the lofty expectations that came with such a big franchise commitment.

Gilbert notched 15.5 sacks in five seasons and the final two were ravaged by nagging injuries. This was not in keeping with the $46.5 million contract and two first-round picks the Panthers sacrificed to acquire him.

Unsurprisingly, the lineman wasn't brought back. Gilbert spent one season with the Oakland Raiders before stepping away from football.