7 free-agent linebackers the Carolina Panthers could sign in 2024

Could the Carolina Panthers bolster the middle of their defense in 2024?

Willie Gay Jr.
Willie Gay Jr. / Jay Biggerstaff-USA TODAY Sports
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Carolina Panthers could sign Jordan Hicks

In the league since 2015, Jordan Hicks has been a quality player for his entire career. At 31 years old, he is not a young option, but could still bring some production to the Carolina Panthers defense.

Hicks has spent time with the Philadelphia Eagles, winning a Super Bowl in 2017, the Arizona Cardinals, and most recently the Minnesota Vikings. In 2023, he racked up 107 tackles and five passes defended in just 13 games.

In every season since 2019, Hicks has had at least 107 tackles, so he still has an affinity for making plays. With 122 regular season games of experience, he could be a late free-agency addition for the Panthers.

Carolina Panthers could sign Willie Gay Jr.

A two-time Super Bowl Champion with the Kansas City Chiefs, Willie Gay Jr. is a free agent in 2024 and could be a modest addition for the Panthers. He played in 16 regular season games in 2023, racking up four passes defended, 58 tackles, four tackles for loss, and three quarterback hits.

Gay isn't a huge difference-maker but could be a nice fallback option if the Panthers' top options at this position do not work out for them. The biggest priorities for Dan Morgan and Dave Canales in 2024 are bringing some stability to the offensive line and the wide receiver positions. Even if Carolina fields two average inside linebackers, the defense will likely be just fine.

However, the Panthers can make some noise in 2024 if the offseason goes the way they hope. With the defense needing to play extremely well in 2024 to have a chance at success, adding some viable linebacking talent is a must.

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