5 moves to save Brandt Tilis $33M on Carolina Panthers salary-cap in 2024

It promises to be a busy few weeks ahead for Brandt Tilis...

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Brandt Tilis / Kyle Terada-USA TODAY Sports
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Carolina Panthers could trade Adam Thielen

  • 2024 cap saving: $8.17 million (post-June 1 designation)

One could make a strong case for Adam Thielen being sold down the river in free agency. The Carolina Panthers promised the wide receiver this was a project worth joining. That everything was in place to make significant strides forward. To potentially contend in the postseason if rookie quarterback Bryce Young made a smooth transition.

These delusions were sold to Thielen and the fanbase. It didn't take long to realize these were nothing more than fool's gold as the Panthers spiraled into another season of false promises and abject failure.

Despite things crashing around him, Thielen was a model professional. He proved there was still life in the old dog yet, becoming Young's primary - and only - consistent receiving threat. His ability to create separation and make tough catches were eye-catching positives behind his overall contribution.

Thielen went over 1,000 receiving yards - better than most projected when he signed. The wideout was forced into a No. 1 role rather than a security blanket over short-to-intermediate routes, which he handled superbly despite results not showing it.

What the future holds for Thielen is debatable. He didn't seem too keen on going through another rebuild at this stage of his career, although much will depend on how early conversations with new head coach Dave Canales go before a formal decision is made on his future.

It doesn't make much financial sense to cut Thielen. If the Panthers can find a willing trade partner - perhaps a contending team looking to acquire a veteran piece to get them over the hump - it would save them $8.17 million with a post-June 1 designation.