5 free agents the Carolina Panthers must desperately pursue in 2024

Reinforcements are needed...

Calvin Ridley
Calvin Ridley / Nathan Ray Seebeck-USA TODAY Sports
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Carolina Panthrs should pursue Josh Uche

  • Edge Rusher | New England Patriots

Much of the attention next offseason will fall on providing quarterback Bryce Young with everything he needs to thrive. But the defensive side of things cannot be ignored whether coordinator Ejiro Evero gets a head coaching gig or not.

Brian Burns has yet to receive a contract extension, which is borderline malpractice when one considers how many substantial trade offers the Carolina Panthers have turned down for the edge rusher. This will probably lead to the franchise tag in 2024, but those in power - whoever they might be - need to bolster their pass-rushing options as a matter of extreme urgency.

If Josh Uche is somehow allowed to test the free-agent market, there will be a queue of suitors looking to secure his services. While he's been unable to match the 11.5 sacks attained during the previous campaign, he's entering his prime and could thrive in a better environment given how much the New England Patriots are struggling this season.

The Panthers might not be that looking at how things stand currently. But giving Burns a prolific partner in Uche is something Carolina's defense has lacked since inexplicably allowing Haason Reddick to walk in 2022.

This won't be cheap - especially given what Burns is reportedly looking for. However, the time for half measures and bargain hunting is over for a franchise that has yet to enjoy a winning campaign since David Tepper bought the team from Jerry Richardson.