5 Carolina Panthers fighting for their futures at 2023 midseason point

It's not gone according to plan...

Frank Reich
Frank Reich / Michael Reaves/GettyImages
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DeShawn Williams - Carolina Panthers DL

Ejiro Evero's defense has done more with less this season. The Carolina Panthers have dealt with some significant injuries on that side of the football, but the defensive coordinator's done a nice job of getting the most out of the personnel at his disposal.

If only the offense could say the same.

Carolina's defensive line could use some added quality when the offseason arrives. They are without a genuine nose tackle to run a 3-4 base scheme, although Evero might not be around in 2024 if he convinces another team to make him their head coach when the upcoming cycle commences.

This only adds to the uncertainty. But it's hard to look at someone like DeShawn Williams and not think he's fighting for his future whether the current coaching regime sticks around or not.

Williams relished a homecoming of sorts during free agency and his previous production under Evero's guidance heightened optimism. It's been an indifferent run for the player, who's mustered just one sack and 22 tackles through nine games, playing in 50 percent of the team's defensive snaps.

The former Clemson star's 56.5 grade from Pro Football Focus and his inability to impact the run defense effectively are two indicators of his struggles to find the consistency needed. Unless something changes, it'll be difficult to envisage any scenario other than Williams being moved on when his contract expires next spring.