5 Carolina Panthers who won’t make the 53-man roster in 2024

Could the end be near for these players?

Stephen Sullivan
Stephen Sullivan / Bob Donnan-USA TODAY Sports
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Stephen Sullivan - Carolina Panthers TE

Stephen Sullivan has seen plenty of changes during his three years with the Carolina Panthers. He was brought in after an underwhelming rookie campaign with the Seattle Seahawks in 2021 and Dave Canales will be his fifth head coach or interim. That doesn't exactly scream stability, but the tight end got a reprieve from the primary decision-makers every offseason in the hope improvements could be made.

Sullivan featured more on the offense rotation than ever last season. That's a damning indictment of Carolina's other tight-end options more than anything else - something yet to be addressed by general manager Dan Morgan and his staff throughout the offseason despite Hayden Hurst's release.

Some fans still believe Sullivan has the athletic traits to become something more. At the same time, this is his fifth season as an NFL pro with career-best figures of 125 receiving yards. If the Panthers can find a better option via the draft, they should pull the trigger.

Morgan and Canales both lauded Tommy Tremble as a possible breakout candidate at the NFL owners' meetings. Ian Thomas took another pay cut to stick around as a primary blocking option. Sullivan also got a one-year extension, but there are no guarantees whatsoever about his roster position.

If the Panthers can pick up a promising young tight end at some stage during the draft, another trip to the practice squad might be in store for Sullivan.