Carolina Panthers 2023 Free Agent Signings – Carolina Panthers Blog
David NewtonESPN Author3 minutes read
CHARLOTTE, NC — The freelance NFL agency is rolling, and we’re tracking every major signing, trade, and release of the 2023 offseason with analysis from our NFL Nation reporters and grades from our experts. The new league year begins Wednesday at 4:00 p.m. ET, which means free agent signings can officially be made thereafter. The first round of the 2023 NFL Draft begins April 27 on ESPN.
The Carolina Panthers are focused on finding a long-term quarterback solution in the draft after trading with the Chicago Bears to acquire the No the state of Ohio. But they need a veteran who can get the job done until the rookie is ready and an experienced wide receiver after he trades DJ Moore.
Signing center Bradley Bozeman was a priority, and retaining D’Onta Foreman remains a priority if the price is right. In addition, watch for the Panthers to add a pass-catching tight end, defensive linemen (switching to a 3-4 scheme under new coach Frank Reich) and a safety.
Here’s a breakdown of all of the 2023 NFL free agents signed by the Panthers and how each will impact the upcoming season:
Carolina is bringing back Bozeman on a three-year, $18 million deal.
What it means: That the starting offensive that helped propel the Panthers to fifth place in the NFL last season is under contract for the last 12 games. Whichever quarterback Carolina picks with the best pick will have a proven, experienced group that will not only protect him but also provide an ongoing game that will take the pressure off him. This General Manager Scott Fitterer has fulfilled one of his off-season priorities.
What is the risk: none. The Panthers made it clear they wanted Bozeman back and Bozeman made it clear he wanted to return. It’s not a break-the-bank deal that would prevent Carolina from bolstering the rest of the roster. Also, in a short amount of time, Bozeman has already made a huge impact on the community through his foundation.
The Panthers and Bell, formerly the Cincinnati Bengals, agreed terms for a free agent contact.
What it means: The Panthers now have the flexibility to move Jeremy Chinn closer to the line of scrimmage from the 2020 second round, where he spent much of his rookie season playing more linebackers than safety. Chinn had no interceptions or fumbles in safety last season. He only had one sack. With the move to a 3-4 scheme, Chinn could be used more in zone blitz situations like the Steelers used to use Troy Polamalu. Bell gives Carolina a more traditional safety and playmaker. He had four picks in 2022.
What is the risk: Few. The former Ohio State star has been a playmaker in his own right with 15 forced fumbles, 9.5 sacks and 6 interceptions since the Saints picked him to the second round in 2016.
The Panthers have agreed formerly New Orleans Saints Tuttle to a three-year, $19.5 million deal with $13 million guaranteed.
What it means: The Panthers are on their way to solidifying the defensive front for their new 3-4 system. Tuttle (6-ft-3, 300 pounds) will likely play nose tackle since the 3-4 system requires the tackle and two ends to eat up blocks so the outside edge rushers can pressure the quarterback. That also means Tuttle is allowed to come home. He grew up about 68 miles from Charlotte in Midway, North Carolina.
What is the risk: Not much. Tuttle is relatively inexpensive when it comes to defensemen, but he fits the style senior defensive adviser Dom Capers sought when he became the Panthers’ first head coach in 1995, hunting for bargains while putting together a 3-4 system. The big bucks usually go to the outside linebackers, and that may give Carolina the flexibility to extend Brian Burns’ deal when he enters his fifth year of his rookie deal.