Carolina Panthers can benefit greatly from chip on Miles Sanders' shoulder in 2023

Miles Sanders
Miles Sanders / Bill Streicher-USA TODAY Sports

Miles Sanders is clearly holding some resentment towards his unceremonious departure from the Philadelphia Eagles, which can benefit the Carolina Panthers in 2023.

The NFL is a cutthroat business with no sentiment whatsoever when it comes to business decisions. Any team adding emotion to their personnel moves generally pays the price more often than not, which is something the Carolina Panthers have been guilty of under previous regimes with big contract extensions for players that weren't worth nearly as much.

Thankfully, this process is slowly getting better under a front office that's made their presence felt with extra responsibilities throughout a memorable offseason. Something that's also come with renewed hope that the Panthers can finally emerge into a contending outfit once again.

This can leave players feeling a little salty, which is understandable. However, it's all part of the game and something that's widely accepted no matter how difficult it might be from one case to the next.

Miles Sanders came under the microscope recently when discussing his departure from the Philadelphia Eagles via Steve Reed of the Associated Press. The running back was clearly unhappy with how he was deployed in their Super Bowl loss against the Kansas City Chiefs, which sparked a chain of events that led general manager Howie Roseman in a different direction entirely.

"Last game of the season? For all of the marbles? Everybody can answer that question. If they put themselves in my shoes, would they be happy? I don’t want to make headlines, (but) if it does, I don’t care. I can get into that another day, maybe. Maybe you should ask them why I’m moving here."

Miles Sanders via AP

Considering Sanders rushed for 1,269 yards and 11 touchdowns during the regular season, he has a point. Nick Sirianni clearly wanted to get into a shootout with the Chiefs and Patrick Mahomes despite holding a lead, which was a grave mistake and one that played a leading role in their eventual demise.

The former second-round pick out of Penn State wasn't out of work for long, penning a four-year, $25.4 million deal with the Panthers that include a $5.9 million signing bonus and $13 million guaranteed. Sanders also agreed to make this a pretty team-friendly deal, which counts just $2.55 million against their cap in 2023.

More importantly, Sanders now has a chip on his shoulder. He is coming into the Panthers highly motivated and Frank Reich intends to utilize his new offensive focal point in a three-down capacity.

This is bringing about a new lease of life in Sanders. He is walking around with a smile on his face and wants to do everything in his power to ensure Carolina's first campaign with Reich at the helm goes well.

"I’m in a great mood every day. I’m loving who I’m practicing with and who I’m going to war with. And the coaching staff we have is tremendous. They have a lot of experience and knowledge. This is going to give me more opportunities to help my team win — and that’s all I’m about. I’m a team guy and I want to do whatever I can to help our team win. Making it to the Super Bowl is pretty addicting and if I knew the formula I would do it every year."

Miles Sanders via AP

Having Sanders in the backfield gives the Panthers a dependable presence in their first full season without All-Pro running back Christian McCaffrey, who was traded to the San Francisco 49ers before the 2022 deadline. It also provides rookie quarterback Bryce Young with an experienced presence alongside him during his critical transition from college to the pros.

Philadelphia is moving forward with a three-headed monster at running back in the form of D'Andre Swift, Rashaad Penny, and Kenneth Gainwell. But when it's all said and done, their loss could be Carolina's gain.