Carolina Panthers’ Additions, Subtractions From Day 1 of Legal Tampering

Panthers' Brian Burns

The NFL’s legal tampering period got underway on Monday at noon EDT. As the clock struck twelve, all 32 NFL teams were permitted to negotiate contracts with free agents. The Panthers made headlines with a series of moves, including the loss of two important defensive players.

Let’s recap Monday’s big moves out of North Carolina.

Panthers’ Additions

Hill Re-Signed Before Free Agency

Before the tampering period began, Carolina re-signed cornerback Troy Hill to a one-year, $1.2 million deal. He appeared in 16 games last season, recording 48 total tackles, six passes defended, an interception, and a forced fumble. Hill is not a premier corner but is still a solid rotational option in the secondary.


Panthers Sign Former Dolphins Guard Robert Hunt  

The biggest need for Carolina after a disastrous 2023 NFL season was help throughout the offensive line. Dan Morgan addressed that need with this signing as Robert Hunt agreed to a five-year, $100 million contract. While expensive, this deal provides key protection in front of former No. 1 pick Bryce Young.  

Panthers’ Subtractions

Frankie Luvu Heads to the Commanders

The Washington Commanders signed former Panthers linebacker Frankie Luvu to a three-year deal with a maximum value of $36 million. The Panthers had the cap space to pay Luvu but failed to bring him back for future seasons. He was a cornerstone of a good Carolina defense and one of the lone bright spots on the team. 


Brian Burns is a New York Giant

Carolina used the franchise tag on star pass-rusher Brian Burns but then traded him to the Giants for a 2024 second-round pick (No. 39 overall) and a 2025 fifth-round pick. The Giants immediately gave Burns a five-year deal worth $150 million with $87.5 million guaranteed. 

About six months earlier, the Los Angeles Rams offered first-round picks in 2024 and 2025 plus a second-round pick in 2025 for Burns, but then-general manager Scott Fitterer turned it down. Now, Carolina was forced to part with him in exchange for a much smaller haul. Fitterer’s inability to finalize a Burns trade arguably set the Panthers back three or four years, at least.

Yetur Gross-Matos to the Bay Area

Defensive end Yetur Gross-Matos signed a two-year, $18 million contract with the San Francisco 49ers. This move adds to a big migration on the defensive side of the ball for Carolina.

Panthers Release Von Bell

Carolina also released safety Von Bell. He is owed $6 million dollars, and his release frees up $1 million in cap space. Bell had 69 tackles and one interception in 13 games last season. This market is strong at the safety position, so it is possible Carolina will replace him in free agency.


Tee Higgins?

In addition to the offensive line, the Panthers needed offensive weapons. It just so happens that a Cincinnati Bengals wide receiver by the name of Tee Higgins is fed up with the organization and has requested a trade. Carolina needs a No. 1 wide receiver and Higgins may be able to fit their needs. Plus, he would be a huge weapon for Young. 

The Panthers had a relatively active start to the legal tampering period. They lost two great defensive players but did win back some of their fanbase’s affection by signing one of the best guards in the league, Robert Hunt. If the Panthers want to make a real splash this offseason, they should give Higgins a call. 

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