7 free-agent defensive linemen the Carolina Panthers could sign in 2024

The Carolina Panthers need help along their 3-4 defensive front.

Javon Kinlaw
Javon Kinlaw / Sergio Estrada-USA TODAY Sports
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The Carolina Panthers approach free agency with a healthy amount of cap space. Which defensive linemen could they target in 2024?

The Carolina Panthers defense played solid in 2023 during Ejiro Evero’s first season as defensive coordinator. Depending on who returns, fans should see an increase in production due to continuity and another year of learning the system.

That said, this unit desperately needs some more production from the pass rush. They could look to add that in free agency along the defensive line. 

Some players that fans will not see on this list due to the Panthers' financial situation are Justin Madubuike, Christian Wilkins, and D.J. Reader. These players will simply command too much salary that Carolina will not be able to compensate for. 

With Derrick Brown’s potential extension looming it wouldn’t fit the mold or timeline for this Panther team to go after one of those great players that will demand a ton of money. Here are seven free-agent defensive linemen who could be targeted in 2024.

Carolina Panthers could sign Sheldon Rankins

Sheldon Rankins is a veteran defensive lineman who will be 30 years old once the 2024 campaign begins. He was with the Houston Texans last season and helped revitalize their run defense. 

Rankins also tallied six sacks in 2023. That kind of production should be coveted by a Carolina Panthers' front office looking to bring in some potential pass-rushing assistance across Ejiro Evero's 3-4 defensive front.

In 2023, Rankins signed a one-year, $5 million deal and could be a candidate for another short-term agreement this time around. He might be one of the more expensive options for the Panthers at this position, but his production and leadership fit a serious need.