Panthers No. 76: 3 problems Russell Okung must overcome in 2020

Dean Jones
(Photo by Elsa/Getty Images) Russell Okung
(Photo by Elsa/Getty Images) Russell Okung /
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Russell Okung, Carolina Panthers
(Photo by Wesley Hitt/Getty Images) Russell Okung /

Carolina Panthers No. 3: Contract uncertainty

There is a lot riding on next season for Russell Okung. He is coming into a new environment in the final year of his current deal. And how he performs will go a long way to determining whether his stay with the Carolina Panthers will be anything more than a one-year agreement.

The financial aspect of this trade was probably a major reason why the deal was eventually done. The Panthers are up against in from a salary cap perspective this year. And this is down in no small part to their incredible dead cap figure than stands at more than $41 million, according to Spotrac.

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Okung will make $13 million in base salary next season. And taking this off the books will give Carolina even more resources to strengthen their roster during another critical free agency period in 2021.

Even if the player stays healthy and plays well. Keeping him around at this sort of price is not feasible. Okung will turn 33 during the campaign. So his chances of a long-term deal are now all-but over regardless of the type of production he gives the organization.

Having contract uncertainty is something that is always at the back of a player’s mind if he doesn’t have the long-term security.

Okung has made $95.48 million during his standout career to date. But the fact he is playing for his future in the NFL is going to bring an increased sense of urgency.