Insider pours cold water on Carolina Panthers potential WR splash for Bryce Young

Money is tight for the Carolina Panthers entering free agency.

Bryce Young
Bryce Young / Bob Donnan-USA TODAY Sports

A respected insider poured cold water on a potential free-agent wide receiver splash for Carolina Panthers quarterback Bryce Young.

The Carolina Panthers have finalized their coaching staff appointments under Dave Canales. Attention immediately turns to the team's recruitment this offseason. Specifically, what those in power can do to help quarterback Bryce Young reach his potential.

This is a complex riddle considering the holes elsewhere. The Panthers have some established stars looking for long-term deals on the defensive side. They don't have much salary-cap space to throw money around with reckless abandon. Brandt Tillis - who's got a glowing reputation when it comes to managing contracts - has an untold amount of work ahead.

Being in a small market often dictates the Panthers have to overpay for players. It also slims the margin for error. After every one of Scott Fitterer's big signings aside from veteran wide receiver Adam Thielen fluffed their lines in 2023, it all but sealed his fate.

Carolina Panthers won't have enough cash for marquee moves

Fans are clamoring for the Panthers to swing big on the free-agent market for a primary pass-catching weapon for Young. There could be some intriguing options available looking at how things stand around the league. However, the pool will likely diminish once franchise tags and new deals come to light.

Albert Breer of Sports Illustrated poured cold water on Carolina's ambitions to secure a marquee free-agent wide receiver during his latest mailbag. The senior insider thought going down the draft route was more likely given the team's precarious financial situation.

"You’d think the Carolina Panthers are in this great spot to take advantage of Bryce Young being on a rookie contract. The truth is, it’s a good, not great spot. Carolina is working with less than $30 million in cap space. They also have to consider tagging Brian Burns, even if they don’t want to spend what it takes to sign him—and that’ll likely occupy about $20 million of that cap space in the short term. So yes, I think they will try and add a high-end weapon for Young. Maybe it’s someone like Tee Higgins (which would also require a trade, in the event he’s tagged). Maybe it’s someone in the draft. And maybe, based on the spot the team is currently in, the latter is more likely than the former."

Albert Breer, Sports Illustrated

Some fans might not like it, but this is the plight facing Carolina this off-season. They must use every resource wisely. There cannot be any more reclamation projects. Those in power must build with the long-term in mind and hope Young can meet the lofty expectations anticipated when the Panthers made their daring move up to No. 1 overall in the 2023 NFL Draft.

Help will arrive for Young. The Panthers have the No. 33 overall selection. This means there should be a dynamic wideout available considering this is expected to be one of the deepest draft classes in recent memory for wide receivers. Even trading down a few spots for additional capital could still land them a decent option.

There needs to be a better plan of action, too. The Panthers gambled heavily on suspect trades and veteran free agents they thought could assist immediately. If team owner David Tepper is willing to be patient for once, decisions can be made with the future in mind rather than constantly seeking a quick fix.

This needs to be a gradual progression. The need to maximize Young's rookie contract is also evident. Therefore, it's about finding the right balance.

One thing's for sure, the Panthers cannot continue on their current path. That would do far more harm than good.