5 Carolina Panthers players fans should be excited about in 2024

These players could excite fans in 2024...
Diontae Johnson
Diontae Johnson / Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports
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Dan Morgan has completely gutted the Carolina Panthers roster this offseason. This was always a strong possibility after such a woeful campaign, but whether it amounts to immediate progress under new head coach Dave Canales is another matter.

The Panthers have reasons for optimism. Their division isn't the most competitive, so any notable strides forward could see a few more wins in the column. That said, expectations should be tempered until we get a good indication of what the football product will look like. Fans have been burned by false promises and raised bars before, so erring on the side of caution is prudent.

That's not to say the Panthers cannot improve, but Morgan's planning for the future in mind. If it doesn't click right away, pressing the panic button would cause unnecessary complications. This franchise is in desperate need of stability. That's why keeping the bigger picture in mind is so important.

With that being said, here are five Panthers players that fans can be legitimately excited about in 2024.

Ihmir Smith-Marsette - Carolina Panthers WR/KR

Swapping late-round selections with the Kansas City Chiefs to ensure Ihmir Smith-Marsette came into the fold was one of the best trade decisions previous general manager Scott Fitterer made. The explosive playmaker shone in the return game on special teams and managed to force his way onto the offensive rotation over the final few games of 2023. Therefore, it came as no surprise to see those in power give him a new deal.

Smith-Marsette will look to capitalize on the new NFL rules that might make things easier for returners to do damage. The former Iowa star has grander ambitions - he wants to become a useful piece to Carolina's offensive puzzle with Dave Canales leading the charge.

There's a lot to like about his chances of achieving this objective. He's a versatile weapon that can operate almost anywhere along the line of scrimmage. He's got assured hands and makes things happen after the catch with decent speed and elusiveness. Much will depend on how many prospects the Panthers add to their wide receiver room during the draft, but Smith-Marsette being retained comes with significant intrigue attached.