4 underrated signings who should help Carolina Panthers thrive in 2024

D.J. Wonnum
D.J. Wonnum / Brad Rempel-USA TODAY Sports
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Damien Lewis - Carolina Panthers OL

Robert Hunt hogged the headlines after becoming the Carolina Panthers' marquee free-agent signing soon after the legal tampering period began. This was part of the team's intent to invest heavily in the offensive line interior in pursuit of giving quarterback Bryce Young a fighting chance to reach new heights in 2024.

Hunt wasn't the only interior force to join the ranks. The Panthers also signed Damien Lewis to become their new starting left guard - someone who brings a different physical dimension and nastiness that was desperately needed.

Head coach Dave Canales is no stranger to Lewis. The pair developed a working relationship with the Seattle Seahawks and there is a clear mutual respect between both parties. This also represents an immediate upgrade on Brady Christensen, who'll be relegated to a versatile backup option capable of manning almost any position across the offensive line.

Lewis is an absolute mauler in the run game, carving out holes at will through brute strength and ruthless aggression. Canales has made a secret of his desire to run the football with more purpose, so this looks like a tremendous fit in that regard.

Considering Lewis is also an accomplished pass protector, this is the wall Young needs in front of him. When given a clean pocket last season - although those occasions were rare - the Heisman Trophy winner made things happen. If everything clicks and the new signings stay clear of injury, it's all systems go.