Marquis Haynes Sr. - Carolina Panthers OLB
Hopes were high surrounding Marquis Haynes Sr. this season. The edge rusher had a supreme opportunity in front of him. With a strong offseason under his belt, all signs pointed to the player becoming the Carolina Panthers' starting outside linebacker opposite Brian Burns.
Then, disaster struck.
Haynes suffered a back injury that placed him on injured reserve before the campaign. The former fourth-round selection out of Ole Miss missed the first eight games thanks to a significant complication. Even when on the field thereafter, it's clear the issue was still bothering him.
An extremely concerning occurrence transpired with Haynes in Week 17 at the Jacksonville Jaguars. The player lay motionless following a collision for several minutes that resulted in him being carted off. Thankfully, everything checked out positively following a hospital visit, but he'll miss Carolina's regular-season finale against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers to conclude a frustrating year.
What the future holds between Haynes and the Panthers has yet to be determined. There could be some value to handing the veteran a short-term extension under a different regime. The new decision-makers could easily go the other way and deem him surplus to requirements.
If the choice ends up being between Haynes and the resurgent Yetur Gross-Matos, it's an easy one to make.