We expect the Carolina Panthers to make further moves during the 2023 NFL offseason. With the number of roster spaces remaining available, this is not surprising. They can, of course, do so through the draft. They may, however, continue to look for other potential free agents in the market. Here we'll look at the most significant roster need of the Panthers after the first week of the 2023 NFL free agency period.

The Panthers are determined to avoid a rebuild after replacing Matt Rhule with Frank Reich as head coach. The focus is on improving the offense, with the help of GM Scott Fitterer, to secure their first NFC South division title since 2015. Despite finishing second in the division last year with a 7-10 record, the Panthers don't consider their 2022 campaign a success. Now, they do have a respectable defense with young players like Brian Burns, Jaycee Horn, and Derrick Brown who have shown promise. Still, Reich has assembled a staff to help the team reach its potential and fill the gaps with the right players.

Carolina's defense was respectable but not exactly excellent last year. However, it showcased young talent such as the aforementioned Burns, who had 12.5 sacks. Horn also did well, recording three interceptions and seven passes defended in 13 games. The team definitely has building blocks to work with, but there are still too many gaps to be a consistent unit. Brown also played a significant role in getting the Panthers above the league average in run defense. However, with some spots still remaining open, Reich's priority is to improve their defensive depth. That will give their revamped offense the daylight to really shine.

Let's look at the most significant roster need of the Panthers after the first week of free agency.

Improve cornerback corps

To improve their defense, the Panthers are considering signing a slot corner in free agency or the draft. This would be a good move as it would allow Jeremy Chinn to return to his successful hybrid linebacker/safety position. While the team could use another cornerback to play opposite rising star Jaycee Horn, they may opt for a slot corner instead.

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One potential candidate for the slot corner position is Shaquill Griffin. He was just released by the Jacksonville Jaguars. They did that to save themselves $13.1 million against the cap. Remember also that Griffin missed most of last season due to a back injury. That said, don't forget that Griffin had 29 combined tackles and six interceptions during his four-year stint with the Seattle Seahawks. He also had 53 starts in 57 games played. If he can get a spot with the Panthers, Griffin should resurrect his career.

Marcus Peters of the Baltimore Ravens could also be a viable option. He just has a knack for finding the ball, as demonstrated by his 32 career interceptions. Having said that, he struggled during the 2022 season after missing the previous year with a major knee injury. Now, teams may be hesitant to sign Peters due to his up-and-down play. However, his intelligence as a football player is just evident. His veteran presence could really benefit the Panthers in 2023.

Ronald Darby is another potential option, despite his injury history. Darby is effective when healthy, as evidenced by his low passer rating when targeted over the past three seasons. He may come at a reasonable cost, too. Assuming he is on track with his rehabilitation from a torn ACL suffered in October, Darby could be a valuable addition.

If none of those guys remain available, the Panthers can also look at William Jackson III and Bryce Callahan. Jackson had a difficult time with the Washington Commanders' zone-heavy scheme, but he could be a good option for a team that prefers man coverage. Despite struggling in Washington, Jackson may be a good buy-low candidate for Carolina. Meanwhile, Callahan is another option. He was a cheap addition to the Chargers in 2022. However, he proved to be an effective slot defender when healthy. The Panthers could make good use of him as well.