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 Panthers should pursue Calvin Ridley

  • Wide Receiver | Jacksonville Jaguars

Bryce Young is fighting a losing battle this season. The rookie quarterback has no stable protection and one consistent pass-catcher to call upon in Adam Thielen, who is playing at a high level but will be 34 years old next season.

Finding Young the wide receivers needed to excel moving forward should be among the team's biggest objectives. Going down the college route provides a cheap, explosive option - perhaps even with their high-end second-round selection - but exploring what looks to be a decent free-agent class is something else for those in power to contemplate.

When the Jacksonville Jaguars acquired Calvin Ridley via trade from the Atlanta Falcons, it was seen as the missing piece that could propel quarterback Trevor Lawrence to greatness. While he's flashed moments of brilliance, there are times when the former first-round selection's become an afterthought.

Just how frustrating this has been for Ridley remains to be seen. It's also worth remembering that the pass-catcher is still trying to find his feet after missing the 2022 season through suspension.

The Jaguars have $38.36 million in available cap space in 2024 as it stands. They might not have enough spare cash to keep Ridley around, which should put the Carolina Panthers on red alert in no uncertain terms.

One thing Ridley does better than most is create separation, which isn't scheme-dependent. This is exactly what the Panthers are lacking currently.