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
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Carolina Panthers must figure out contract extensions

The Carolina Panthers have some difficult decisions to make this offseason when it comes to deciding which key players will return. The failings of the former general manager Scott Fitterer to sort the Brian Burns contract out leaves Dan Morgan and Brandt Tilis in a predicament. The edge rusher reportedly turned down an extension worth around $23 million per season. After a subpar year in 2023, that number might not go much higher.

This makes Burns a likely trade candidate for Carolina. He is talented, but his failure to elevate to a truly elite pass rusher as yet may mean the new front office could be tempted to trade the player if a first-round pick is offered.

According to Spotrac, Burns' market value is $21.7 million annually. While this is clearly below what the player wants, his value has likely decreased after just eight sacks in 2023.

Another key free agent for the team is Frankie Luvu. Fitterer didn't get much right as Panthers general manager, but bringing in the linebacker from the New York Jets was likely his best move. He's gone from a special teams ace to a core member of the defense in three years. Morgan must find a way to keep him around long-term.

Luvu passed 100 tackles for a second straight season. His 125 tackles led the team. He was also second in sacks once again with 5.5, taking him to 12.5 over the last two seasons. The former Washington State star is blossoming into one of the league's better blitzing/off-ball linebackers and will be paid accordingly this offseason.

According to Spotrac, Luvu’s market value is $11.2 million annually - a fair improvement from the two-year, $9 million contract he signed before the 2022 season. But the fact remains, he is arguably a top-three player on this team. When you’re as bad as the Panthers, you cannot afford to lose the very few good players you have.