5 difficult decisions facing Carolina Panthers GM Dan Morgan in 2024

The new front office leader has a lot on his hands.

Dan Morgan
Dan Morgan / Jim Dedmon-USA TODAY Sports
4 of 6

Jaycee Horn's fifth-year option

A year ago, it was a no-brainer for the Carolina Panthers to pick up the fifth-year option of Derrick Brown. However, heading into this offseason, that decision is less clear with Jaycee Horn.

It's impossible to doubt the ability of Horn. When healthy, he is far and away a top-10 cornerback in the league. But availability is a real issue.

During his three NFL seasons, the former South Carolina man has featured in just 20 games out of a possible 51 - 13 of those starts coming in 2022. This past season Horn featured in just six games. He lost most of the season to a hamstring injury suffered in just the second quarter of the season opener at the Atlanta Falcons.

Much has been made of the Panthers picking Horn before the Denver Broncos selected Patrick Surtain II, who is a two-time Pro Bowler and was voted first-team All-Pro in 2022. The Alabama product has been readily available, featuring in 50 of 51 games, missing just a solitary contest during his rookie year.

When healthy, there isn’t much to pick between the two. With the supreme talent Horn has, it seems unlikely the Panthers will decline the fifth-year option. But if the defensive back wants to secure a second contract in Carolina, he must find a way to stay on the field.