5 burning questions Carolina Panthers fans are asking ahead of 2024 offseason

The drama has already begun, but the questions remain.

Brian Burns
Brian Burns / Morgan Tencza-USA TODAY Sports
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Which Carolina Panthers WRs return?

How many wide receivers return to the Panthers next year? - @mccaffreygoat

Great question. I’ll tell you it could be a short list that may leave out a surprising name to some fans.

Let’s start with Jonathan Mingo. He’s coming off an underwhelming rookie year where he was thrust into the starting lineup despite being a reach at No. 39 overall in last year’s draft. The film shows he has work to do, but it doesn’t mean the Ole Miss product won’t be a contributor down the line.

He’s a good athlete with quality run-after-catch traits that will be valuable moving forward. But there is some hard work ahead this offseason.

Next, Ihmir Smith-Marsette is more than deserving of another contract with the Carolina Panthers. I expect the next general manager to pick the former Iowa Hawkeyes contract as the one to hold on to for at least the 2024 season.

Smith-Marsette’s role is what Frank Reich was attempting to do with Laviska Sheanult Jr. The 2021 fifth-round pick will be valued for his athleticism and return-man abilities.

For me, that’s the length of the list. Two wide receivers and no Adam Thielen. Why?

Thielen was brought in under the vision he saw from Reich. That vision, which I would speculate to be winning seasons and playoff appearances, is never going to happen here in Carolina for at least the next couple of seasons.

While Thielen has been Bryce Young’s go-to receiver, it sounds to me like the veteran wideout wants to play on a contender…a Super Bowl contender at that.

D.J. Chark is likely gone, as is Terrace Marshall Jr. Whether it’s by trade or cuts before or during training camp is the big question.

Next season, I would expect a completely overhauled wide receiver room full of adequate and talented playmakers that will help Young’s development significantly.