Analyst configures modest Carolina Panthers' best-case scenario in 2024

Don't count on the Carolina Panthers making the playoffs in 2024.
Dave Canales
Dave Canales / Trevor Ruszkowski-USA TODAY Sports

The Carolina Panthers made some notable improvements this offseason. Their fortunes in 2024 are still hanging precariously despite these projected upgrades.

Winning two games last season means the Panthers have more to do than anyone else in pursuit of making strides. Dave Canales has a plan in place. Dan Morgan is running the front office with more professionalism. Team owner David Tepper is staying on the fringes and allowing a sense of freedom to work that wasn't evident previously.

These are positive steps, there's no getting away from that. However, the challenges ahead of them are steep.

Others around the NFL also fancy their chances of enhancing their playoff credentials. That makes attaining a postseason berth unlikely according to Frank Schwab from Yahoo Sports. Instead, the senior writer highlighted a best-case scenario for the Panthers in 2024 that involved Canales' ability to mold quarterback Bryce Young into a star.

"There's probably not a world in which the [Carolina] Panthers make the playoffs. Weirder things have happened in the NFL, but it's a heck of a stretch. Still, you can tell yourself a story in which the Panthers are much better after all the offseason additions and the hiring of [Dave] Canales. It would be a positive season, regardless of the final record, if the new coaching staff and upgrades on offense help Bryce Young look like the future star the Panthers thought they were drafting. Remember, while Young's size was debated often before last year's NFL Draft, most analysts believed he had excellent traits as a prospect. A nice improvement from Young would mean Canales isn't fired at the end of the season by [David] Tepper. Maybe."

Frank Schwab, Yahoo Sports

This is the critical component above all else. The Panthers invested heavily around Young and spent substantial resources to move up for the signal-caller at No. 1 overall in last year's draft. His professional marriage with Canales has to work. It's hard to envisage a scenario where both become successful otherwise.

Schwab's closing remark about Canales avoiding Tepper's wrath was a little tongue in cheek. At the same time, the billionaire's reputation for removing head coaches through impulsive decisions has been prevalent throughout his time running sports franchises up to now.

There must be more patience attached to this project. Canales and Morgan believe they are laying the foundations to get the Panthers back among the challengers. That might not happen right away - something Tepper needs to keep in mind during this critical transition for all involved.

If Young thrives under Canales' guidance, it sets everything else up on offense. Much will depend on whether Ejiro Evero's defense holds its own after losing several established stars during the offseason. If they can be competitive, Carolina should make strides as the campaign goes on.

It could go either way. Fans have been duped by false promises and delusional expectations within the Panthers plenty of times under Tepper's ownership. This time feels different, but the proof will arrive when competitive games begin with Carolina's trip to the New Orleans Saints in Week 1.

A good start there will provide the catalyst behind improved fortunes. Whether it's an attainable feat is another matter.