REPORT: Carolina Panthers Looking To Sign Former Defensive Player Of The Year After The Draft

Carolina Panthers helmet shown on the field.Carolina Panthers. (Photo by Grant Halverson/Getty Images)

The Carolina Panthers will look at the idea of reuniting with a former Defensive Player of the Year following the 2024 NFL Draft, new general manager Dan Morgan told reporters on Thursday.

Per Darin Gannt of the Carolina Panthers team website, Morgan said the team will consider bringing back Pro Bowl cornerback Stephon Gilmore following the NFL Draft, which concludes on Apr. 27.

The Panthers spoke to Gilmore last month after free agency opened, but the 2019 Defensive Player of the Year surprisingly remains available five weeks after the new league offseason officially began.

Carolina acquired Gilmore in a 2021 trade with the New England Patriots early in the season. The Pats were about to release Gilmore anyway, but they salvaged a sixth-round pick from Carolina in the trade.

Despite being limited to nine games with Carolina, Gilmore earned his fifth career Pro Bowl selection. He signed with the Indianapolis Colts in 2022 free agency and had another stellar year there before getting traded to the Dallas Cowboys in the 2023 offseason.

For his career, Gilmore has earned five Pro Bowl and a pair of First-team All-Pro nods to go along with his 2019 DPOY Award. He also won a Super Bowl 53 ring with the Patriots in the 2018 season, sealing the game with a late red zone interception off Jared Goff.

Carolina Panthers Should Bring Back Gilmore

With limited draft capital this year, Morgan has had to use the free agent pool to address several of his roster needs. He bolstered the offensive line in front of Bryce Young by signing Robert Hunt and Damien Lewis, while also signing Jadeveon Clowney, A’Shawn Robinson and Josey Jewell to help the front seven.

But with an onslaught of dangerous pass-catchers in the NFC South, the Panthers could definitely use more help in the secondary. Gilmore was excellent in his short-lived tenure with the club, and his leadership could go a long way in helping this defense improve in 2024.

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