NFL writer outlines daunting test awaiting Terrace Marshall Jr. in 2024

A huge effort is needed from the wide receiver.
Terrace Marshall Jr.
Terrace Marshall Jr. / Bob Donnan-USA TODAY Sports

The Carolina Panthers made some necessary improvements to their wide receiver room this offseason. This was almost guaranteed after how things unfolded in 2023. Bryce Young is good, but his weapons in the passing game held the signal-caller back considerably.

Diontae Johnson's arrival via trade from the Pittsburgh Steelers comes with significant intrigue attached. The same goes for Xavier Legette after the Panthers traded up to secure his services at No. 32 overall in the 2024 NFL Draft. Couple this with Adam Thielen's presence and Jonathan Mingo's scope for improvement, things are looking up for Young.

What this means for those further down the pecking order is anyone's guess. Competition for places has increased exponentially. Unless they earn their spot, head coach Dave Canales won't think twice about removing them from the equation.

Carolina Panthers could cut Terrace Marshall Jr. before Week 1

Terrace Marshall Jr. is under more pressure than most. The former second-round pick flattered to deceive over his first three seasons in the league. Many thought he'd be long gone by this point after handing in a trade request last season. The fact he's still around indicates Canales and his staff see something in the national college football championship winner from LSU.

That's encouraging for the player, but it does nothing to diminish the severe need to put everything together throughout the summer. This was a sentiment echoed by Schuyler Callihan of Fan Nation, who thought Marshall might be shown the door before Week 1 at the New Orleans Saints unless improvements arrive.

"It's truly a make or break year for Terrace Marshall. He enters the final year of his contract and has been extremely inconsistent throughout his first three years in the league. He has shown flashes here and there of being someone who can be a solid third or fourth option, but those occurrences are far and few between. Dave Canales seems to like his skillset, but who doesn't? It just hasn't translated to game action."

Schuyler Callihan, Fan Nation

Marshall's physical attributes are not in question. Consistency remains the biggest stumbling block. Taking his practice form into a competitive environment hasn't been accomplished as yet. Canales holds the key to his renaissance, but others are seemingly ahead of him on the target priority list heading into Carolina's training camp in Charlotte.

There is no room for passengers on the Panthers' road to redemption. If Marshall isn't pulling his weight, general manager Dan Morgan can move off the player with almost no financial ramifications attached.

That's how high the stakes are for Marshall in the coming weeks. The likes of David Moore, Ihmir Smith-Marsette, and undrafted free agent Jalen Coker are all looking to cement their respective roster spots. He must impress during drills and make targets count during preseason games to begin changing the narrative.

Anything less could see the Panthers cut their losses. Players with Marshall's athletic intangibles normally get a second chance somewhere. But it's a far cry from what most envisaged for the wideout pre-draft.

This is the last chance saloon for Marshall in no uncertain terms. It's a huge test of character to rise from adversity. Whether the pass-catcher can pass this challenge with a fresh set of coaches watching on will determine his fate.