4 questionable Carolina Panthers offseason moves in 2023

Scott Fitterer
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Carolina Panthers didn't urgently address edge rusher

Letting Haason Reddick leave in free agency was one of the biggest errors in Carolina Panthers franchise history. That's a long list - especially in recent years - but losing an All-Pro caliber edge rusher and getting almost nothing from those who replaced him was yet another reason why Matt Rhule's reign came to an abrupt halt.

This was expected to be Carolina's second biggest priority aside from the quarterback position. The Panthers desperately needed another capable pass-rusher to put opposite Brian Burns in Ejiro Evero's creative 3-4 base scheme, but it didn't get the urgency many anticipated during free agency or the 2023 NFL Draft.

The Panthers opted to acquire one further option, trading up to No. 80 overall for D.J. Johnson. This was a controversial move considering many analysts had him tabbed as a Day 3 selection, but those in power clearly see something in the six-year college player who is still learning how to play the position.

As stated previously, the Panthers have the salary-cap space to bolster their options with another immediate contributor from the veteran pool. But Leonard Floyd's decision to join the Buffalo Bills on a one-year deal means another more productive presence is off the market.

Moving forward on the chance Yetur Gross-Matos, Marquis Haynes Sr., Amare Barno, or Johnson can fill the gaping void left by Reddick is a massive call to make. Even if there should be a level of trust where Evero is concerned thanks to his exceptional defensive mind.