Former Panthers WR Finds New Home in Free Agency

Former Panthers WR DJ Chark signed with the Chargers in free agency
Former Panthers WR DJ Chark signed with the Chargers in free agency / Jim Dedmon-USA TODAY Sports

Former Panthers WR DJ Chark Jr. signed a deal in free agency with the Los Angeles Chargers on Thursday night as the AFC West team tries to rebuild the receiver group under new head coach Jim Harbaugh.

Chark played in 15 games for Carolina in 2023, catching 35 of 66 targets for 525 yards and five TDs. He's an effective red-zone weapon though has struggled with injuries and inconsistency since putting up 1,008 yards in his sophomore campaign.

Now, Chark will look to rebuild his value on a one-year deal worth up to $5 million.

Former Panthers WR DJ Chark Signs With Chargers

This will be Chark's seventh season in the NFL and while he's shown promise, it was wise of the Panthers to let him walk in free agency. Carolina already spent heavy capital bringing in wide receivers, trading up into the first round for Xavier Legette after signing Diontae Johnson in free agency.

I do think the organization should sign another receiver, though Chark had an opportunity to stand out in a relatively weak group in 2023 and failed to leave his mark.

Carolina has promising undrafted rookie free agents who could earn a role, and it makes more sense to develop young players than keep kicking the can on an oft-injured, semi-productive veteran receiver demanding $5 million annually.

Overall, it's a good move by GM Dan Morgan to turn the page on last year and move forward. The offense should be significantly improved around 2023 first-overall pick Bryce Young, giving the Panthers a real opportunity to evaluate their quarterback.

We wish Chark well, but I'm grateful he's Los Angeles' problem now.

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