5 Carolina Panthers who cannot afford to get complacent in 2024

These Carolina Panthers players must keep their foot on the gas.
Shaq Thompson
Shaq Thompson / Bob Donnan-USA TODAY Sports
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Urgency is high across the Carolina Panthers as preparations for the 2024 season gain steam. Dan Morgan's adopted a ruthless mindset to his roster building after a two-win campaign left nothing but a sour taste in the mouth. Those who aren't pulling their weight won't last long under the new regime.

One of the biggest problems during the Matt Rhule and Frank Reich years centered on no clear focus. Everyone was out for themselves and mediocrity was accepted. Sometimes, it was even celebrated. That's not going to be the case any longer under ambitious head coach Dave Canales.

After another offseason of wholesale changes, those who survived Morgan's roster cull can feel a sense of confidence that the general manager and Canales believe in their respective abilities. However, taking their foot off the gas is simply not an option as the Panthers strive for better fortunes in 2024.

With this in mind, here are five Panthers players who cannot afford to get complacent in 2024.

Damien Lewis - Carolina Panthers OL

The Carolina Panthers moved swiftly to strengthen their offensive line interior in free agency. Robert Hunt was acquired within hours of the legal tampering period beginning at great expense. Those in power also managed to convince Damien Lewis that this was a project worth being part of.

Lewis has previous experience working with Dave Canales from their time together on the Seattle Seahawks. He's a brute force against the run and holds his own in pass protection. Coupling him with Hunt gives the Panthers a potentially dominant starting guard tandem that could assist quarterback Bryce Young tremendously.

The Panthers gave Lewis a four-year, $53 million deal that also included a $15 million signing bonus and $26.21 million guaranteed. One doesn't have to look far around the league for examples of veterans regressing once they secure a bumper payday, so the former third-round pick out of Louisiana State must not fall into the same trap.

Otherwise, the consequences could be severe.