5 Carolina Panthers on the hot seat entering 2024 free agency

The heat is on...

Dan Morgan
Dan Morgan / Trevor Ruszkowski-USA TODAY Sports
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Brady Christensen - Carolina Panthers OL

Brady Christensen going down with a season-ending injury after just one game was a body blow. One the Carolina Panthers never recovered from after their complete lack of depth along the offensive line was exposed.

Christensen looks on course to get back in time for organized team activities, which is a bonus. Just what the former third-round pick's role will be by that point is another matter.

While some see Christensen as a perfect fit for Dave Canales' zone-blocking concepts thanks to his accomplished pass protection, the Panthers are reported to be looking for upgrades to their interior in free agency. What this means for the BYU product's future is unclear, but it's something worth monitoring at the very least.

With the Panthers planning to keep Ikem Ekwonu at left tackle, Christensen could be demoted to a swing tackle if the right reinforcements arrive. This would improve depth considerably, even if it's disappointing from the player's point of view heading into a contract year.

Christensen will be taking a keen interest in what additions the Panthers make in the days and weeks ahead. But much like the situation with Bradley Bozeman, it seems like he'll be forced to earn his spot rather than being handed anything outright following his long-term health complication.

That wouldn't have been the case under previous regimes. In truth, it's a refreshing change of pace.