7 Carolina Panthers who could be one and done with the team in 2024

These Carolina Panthers newcomers have a big point to prove.
K'Lavon Chaisson
K'Lavon Chaisson / Peter van den Berg-USA TODAY Sports
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D.J. Wonnum - Carolina Panthers OLB

As previously mentioned, the Carolina Panthers have questions to answer across their edge rushing room in 2024. Trading Brian Burns was a necessary evil after Dan Morgan couldn't salvage the franchise's relationship with the player. If his current additions cannot fill the void and the former first-round pick flourishes with the New York Giants, this will go down as another grave error in judgment.

D.J. Wonnum is a risk the Panthers took in pursuit of strengthening the ranks in free agency. The player performed well opposite Danielle Hunter with the Minnesota Vikings, but the torn quad suffered last season means he'll miss a considerable period of the offseason to potentially complicate matters.

Wonnum has some nice athletic traits, but there will be nobody like Hunter taking up the primary attention from opposing protection schemes in Carolina. How he can cope almost out on his own will be a key factor behind any success that comes his way.

The Panthers are high on Wonnum. They also hedged their bets with the structure of his new deal.

If Wonnum fails to adjust effectively, the Panthers can move on from the former fourth-round pick in 2025. This would save them $7.5 million and cost just $625,000 in dead money.

Yosh Nijman - Carolina Panthers OT

The Carolina Panthers are confident that Ikem Ekwonu can bounce back after going through severe turmoil during his NFL sophomore campaign. Having a steadier presence on the interior should help, but the former first-round pick didn't look suited to zone-blocking concepts last season. Considering this is what Dave Canales also plans to adopt, the potential complications are obvious and concerning in equal measure.

Ekwonu must improve technically and will be striving to remind people why he was taken No. 6 overall in the 2022 NFL Draft. The Panthers were wise to get a contingency plan to improve depth, with Yosh Nijman becoming the team's swing tackle after joining in free agency from the Green Bay Packers.

Nijman turned out in 230 snaps for there Packers last season, giving up two sacks and conceding two penalties en route to a disappointing 61.7 grade from Pro Football Focus. While he's an upgrade on their depth, the Panthers could be forced into a blindside overall if he and Ekwonu cannot raise their production next season.

Cutting Nijman after one season saves the Panthers around $3.67 million with $1.21 allocated to the dead money figure. Something that those in power will likely consider if the need for upgrades becomes concrete.