Don't mistake that for an unproductive start.
The Panthers have long been about building from within rather than trying to catch lightning in a bottle from outside sources, and that approach has produced remarkable results of late. Carolina is coming off an appearance in Super Bowl 50 and an unprecedented third consecutive NFC South title. No one else has ever won two in a row.
Here's a quick look at the five best moves made by the Panthers since the Super Bowl – four of which involve returners.
5. COACHING CONTINUITY: Not only did the Panthers manage to retain offensive coordinator Mike Shula and defensive coordinator Sean McDermott this offseason; they also made it more likely they can retain a higher percentage of their top-notch staff by extending a two-year contract extension to all returning assistants. The one staff addition was a good one, too: adding Thomas McGaughey, who has been a special teams coordinator the past two seasons, as a special teams assistant.
4. SHORING UP THE FRONT: The Panthers have improved their quality of depth along both lines of scrimmage early in free agency, first adding center
3. RETAINING TOLBERT: Hours before players with expiring contract became free agents, the Panthers reached a two-year deal with fullback
2. THE JOHNSON REUNION: Six days after defensive end
1. LOCKING UP A LOCKDOWN CORNER: The Panthers didn't have long to work out a long-term deal with cornerback