4 prominent former Panthers still on the free-agent scrap heap in 2023

Chosen Anderson
Chosen Anderson / Michael Chow-USA TODAY Sports
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Which prominent former Carolina Panthers players still find themselves on the scrap heap after the first fortnight of 2023 free agency?

It's been a hugely encouraging period of recruitment for the Carolina Panthers in free agency. The team has upgraded various position groups, players with vast experience have been acquired, and they still have the second-most salary-cap space anywhere in the league for further moves should opportunities present themselves in the coming weeks. 

This is a stark contrast to how football matters were handled when Matt Rhule's reign of terror enveloped the Panthers. Thankfully, that's now in the past and fans can look forward to a fruitful future that also includes the No. 1 overall selection in the 2023 NFL Draft.

Not everyone was fortunate enough to stick around. But there is no room for sentiment with the new regime as they look to finally get the Panthers out of irrelevancy and into legitimate postseason contention. 

With this in mind, here are four prominent former Panthers players still sitting on the free-agent scrap heap in 2023. 

Former Player No. 1

Carolina Panthers
Eli Apple / Jay Biggerstaff-USA TODAY Sports

Eli Apple - Former Carolina Panthers CB

Even though Eli Apple was part of a Cincinnati Bengals team that's gone deep into the postseason for two consecutive seasons, the cornerback is still searching for alternative employment. Much has been made about his time with the Carolina Panthers ending abruptly following a bust-up with Matt Rhule, who was less than complimentary about the veteran and was shipped out without much fanfare in 2020. 

Apple got burned plenty - which always seems to be the case - during the 2022 season. Perhaps his days as a starter could be a thing of the past, but he should get a shot to make someone's 53-man roster once the 2023 NFL Draft concludes.