4 Former Panthers Still Unemployed Heading Into Training Camp

Dec 3, 2023; Tampa, Florida, USA; Tampa Bay Buccaneers running back Rachaad White (1) stiff arms Carolina Panthers linebacker Marquis Haynes Sr. (98)  during the second half at Raymond James Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Kim Klement Neitzel-USA TODAY Sports
Dec 3, 2023; Tampa, Florida, USA; Tampa Bay Buccaneers running back Rachaad White (1) stiff arms Carolina Panthers linebacker Marquis Haynes Sr. (98) during the second half at Raymond James Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Kim Klement Neitzel-USA TODAY Sports / Kim Klement Neitzel-USA TODAY Sports

The Carolina Panthers start training camp in just over two weeks and several former members of the organization are still without jobs. New head coach Dave Canales is prioritizing rebuilding through youth and development, leaving multiple veterans on the outside looking in.

A reunion is still possible for some but growing increasingly unlikely, and these players are running out of time to earn a spot on an NFL roster before the new season.

Whether it's with the Panthers or another organization, let's look at a handful of guys still looking for a new gig for the 2024-25 season.

4 Former Panthers Still Unemployed Before Training Camp

1. Gabe Jackson - G

After spending just one year with the Panthers, appearing in five games, Gabe Jackson hopes to extend a 10-year NFL career and find a team in need of an experienced interior offensive lineman.

Originally drafted by the Raiders in the third round of the 2014 NFL Draft, Jackson has appeared in 132 of a possible 136 games. He's remarkably durable though did miss time with Carolina, indicating his 32-year-old body may not be able to withstand the rigors of a full season. Even still, teams always need veteran depth inside, giving Jackson a chance to earn some interest.

Jackson was never going to be re-signed after the Panthers overhauled their line to better support QB Bryce Young but that doesn't mean he can't find another suitor.

With the prevalence of injuries at the position, it's likely some team will soon call and bring Jackson in for a tryout at the least. Outside of the Panthers and Raiders, he's also spent time with the Rams and Seahawks, showing his ability to learn a variety of schemes and offenses.

He should have one or two more years of production left, though apparently has to wait to find out where.

2. Marquis Haynes Sr. - OLB

Entering his seventh season, Marquis Haynes has only ever known the Panthers organization. He was a 2018 fourth-round pick, appearing in 71 games in Carolina, compiling 99 tackles and 14 sacks.

Haynes was limited to just seven games in 2023 due to injuries, one of which involved a scary hospital stay, so any team that signs him needs to be comfortable with his health. That being said, he's only 30 years old and should find a suitor before the season begins.

The injuries were particularly unfortunate given 2022 was Haynes' best season. He had 29 tackles, 13 QB hits, five sacks, four deflected passes and a fumble recovery TD while appearing in all 17 games. It looked like he'd stick around for another contract but unfortunately, 2023 didn't go as planned.

Unlike some of the other free agents who are near the end of their careers, Haynes theoretically has plenty left in the tank. For a low-cost prove it contract, he's worth at least bringing in.

I'll be surprised if Haynes isn't with a team once training camp starts. At the very least, he'll catch on with team in need of pass-rushing depth sooner than later.

3. Henry Anderson - DE

Unlike Haynes, Henry Anderson's age and declining production mean he's got little to offer in terms of potential, but the veteran defensive end could have value as a rotational edge rusher for an organization that wouldn't need him to play heavy snaps.

He spent last season on injured reserve and played in only 15 total games in 2021 and 2022 due to injuries. It's possible Anderson decides to hang up the cleats, though I could see him joining a contender in hopes of experiencing playoff success before it's all said and done.

It's been a long time since Anderson produced like that. The 2015 third-round pick out of Stanford had seven sacks with the Jets in 2018 but has just 1.5 total sacks since. He appeared in 11 games with the Panthers in 2022, compiling 18 tackles and one QB hit.

The list of potential fits for Anderson is small. He's facing an uphill battle to compete for a roster spot with any team, and he'll have to prove his back injuries are no longer an issue.

Anderson's time in the NFL is closer to the end than the beginning. We may have seen the last of him in the league and with each passing day, that possibility feels more likely.

4. Stephon Gilmore - CB

The 2019 AP Defensive Player of the Year is the most experienced and accomplished cornerback on the market, and he'd make a lot of sense as a veteran leader for Carolina's rebuilding defense. He'll turn 34 in September but still has 24 deflected passes over the last two seasons.

Even if Gilmore isn't the lockdown No. 1 corner he once was, the guy can clearly still fill a role for a variety of defenses. He was a Pro Bowler with the Panthers in 2021 despite appearing in only eight games, notching a pair of interceptions and deflected passes.

Considering the issues Carolina has suffered through with the secondary in recent years, and Jaycee Horn's ongoing health concerns, Gilmore would be a valuable addition. That he's still unsigned indicates the price may not break the bank, and the Panthers could use proven defensive backs to round out the secondary.

Always displaying a nose for the ball, Gilmore has 31 career interceptions and seven forced fumbles. If he can limit his playing time to increase his per-snap production, he can still be a difference-maker in the NFL.

With the Cowboys in 2023, Gilmore allowed just a 55.8% completion percentage and an 82.7 passer rating when targeted. While not exceptional numbers, they're good nonetheless. Expect Gilmore to find a new home within a matter of weeks.

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