5 baffling free-agent decisions made by the Carolina Panthers in 2024

What are some of the worst roster decisions made by Carolina Panthers general manager Dan Morgan during 2024 free agency?
K'Lavon Chaisson
K'Lavon Chaisson / Nathan Ray Seebeck-USA TODAY Sports
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Carolina Panthers signed K'Lavon Chaisson

Signing D.J. Wonnum and Jadeveon Clowney should help the Carolina Panthers' pass rush next season. Those in power also signed K'Lavon Chaisson - a former first-round selection who couldn't reach lofty expectations during his time with the Jacksonville Jaguars.

This wasn't nearly as well received. Fans have had enough of the Panthers gambling on reclamation projects who couldn't cut the mustard in Jacksonville. Their trade for cornerback C.J. Henderson was an unmitigated disaster and Laviska Shenault Jr. was another acquisition that failed to make the most of a second opportunity to become a bigger piece of the puzzle.

Chaisson knows some Panthers staff members well, which factored into the decision. That said, anyone expecting him to become a prominent feature on the edge rushing rotation is asking for trouble. After all, the LSU college product gained just five sacks in four seasons on the Jaguars after becoming the No. 20 overall selection in the 2020 NFL Draft.

Thankfully, panic diminished thanks to Clowney's arrival. Providing Wonnum returns from a torn quad successfully, Chaisson is going to be a backup piece at best when the 2024 campaign arrives. Still, this wouldn't exactly scream stability if he ended up getting a decent amount of reps at some stage.

Carolina Panthers traded Brian Burns

This wasn't Dan Morgan's fault. He was just tasked with cleaning up the mess left by those who occupied positions of power previously.

It's no secret that the Carolina Panthers managed Brian Burns' contract situation horribly. After turning down some whopping trade offers from the edge rusher, they failed to pay up. This brought a level of frustration from the player and saw his relationship with the team go past the point of no return.

Carolina once turned down an offer from the Los Angeles Rams consisting of two first-round picks and more for Burns. They accepted second and fifth-round selections from the New York Giants. The leverage had been lost and the Panthers' most explosive young pass-rusher became the latest player to depart the franchise in his prime.

Morgan cannot be blamed for this, in all honesty. Trading Burns was probably the only viable option remaining after placing him under the franchise tag. But that doesn't make the scenario any less disappointing.

Whether Jadeveon Clowney and D.J. Wonnum can fill the void remains to be seen. Ejiro Evero gained a strong reputation for doing more with less last season. That will have to be the case once again to give his head coaching credentials another major boost.