BREAKING NEWS: Panthers are interested in getting back together with the former Defensive Player of the Year…

Due to C.J. Henderson’s free agency departure and Donte Jackson’s trade to the Steelers in exchange for Diontae Johnson, the Panthers currently have a need at cornerback.

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Dane Jackson has since been signed by Carolina, but there may be an impending change.

After spending just a year with the organisation in 2021, Stephon Gilmore is a player that Carolina is interested in getting back.

Despite playing just eight games that season, the former DEF of the year was nonetheless nominated to the Pro Bowl.

Gilmore is one of the best defensive free agents available right now, having stayed healthy throughout his subsequent seasons with the Colts and Cowboys.

Although Gilmore is considering a new contract with Dallas, a return to the Panthers could mean starting duty again for the 33-year-old.

In that scenario, Gilmore would be partnered with Jadeveon Clowney, who signed with Carolina last week as the previous first pick.

Since the two went to the same high school in South Carolina, their shared experience there might persuade Gilmore to accept a deal with the Panthers.

If not, though, the team might need to add a rookie cornerback.

If Gilmore or any other veteran is not signed, Joe Person of The Athletic projects the Panthers will choose a cornerback “fairly high” in the next draft (subscription needed).

Jaycee Horn of Carolina will remain a starter for at least another season; the team will decide this spring how to use his fifth-year option.

However, the former top-10 pick has struggled with injuries throughout his career, so a long-term commitment to the secondary wouldn’t be shocking.

Dane Jackson, who signed a two-year contract in free agency, will contribute to the team’s efforts to strengthen against the pass.

The 27-year-old was selected in the draft during the time Panthers general manager Dan Morgan worked for Brandon Beane’s Bills.

According to Person, Morgan encouraged Carolina to sign Jackson as soon as he became available.

With multiple roster changes this summer on both sides of the ball, Jackson is expected to start in the spot for his new team.

Carolina finished third in 2023 against the pass, and the fact that defensive coordinator Ejiro Evero is staying put suggests that they could replicate that performance this year.

But whether it’s a reunion with Gilmore at the CB position or an early emphasis on the position in the draft, at least one significant move at the position will probably be necessary.

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