Carolina Panthers: 4 realistic opt-out candidates in 2020

(Photo by Naomi Baker/Getty Images) Taylor Moton
(Photo by Naomi Baker/Getty Images) Taylor Moton /
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Russell Okung, Carolina Panthers
(Photo by Wesley Hitt/Getty Images) Russell Okung /

OT. 4. 87. Pick Analysis. CAROLINA PANTHERS. RUSSELLOKUNG. player. Scouting Report

Carolina Panthers Player No. 4: Russell Okung (OT)

Russell Okung’s problems staying healthy over the last few seasons have been well documented. And this might become a factor if the player is having second thoughts about playing for the Carolina Panthers in 2020.

The veteran offensive tackle has the comfort of knowing his financial security is assured regardless of whether he turns out for the organization. He arrived following a trade from the Los Angeles Chargers this offseason that saw perennial Pro Bowl guard Trai Turner go in a completely different direction in one of the stranger moves made by the front office in recent months.

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According to Spotrac, Okung has made $95.48 million during a standout career to date. So money will be the last thing on his mind when deciding whether or not to opt-out.

Okung is projected to have plenty on his plate next season. He has a prominent role in protecting Teddy Bridgewater’s blindside. And he is coming up against some of the NFL’s most feared pass-rushers in the process.

The lineman is heading into the twilight of his career. And opting out at this stage would deny him an opportunity of proving those who have questioned his ability to make a lasting contribution with so many miles on the clock.

Okung is a proven leader who will be equally as important in the locker room as on the field. So not having him around would be damaging to the franchise as they look to make steady progress in 2020.

The player is also set to make $13 million in base salary next season. And even though Okung has made plenty of cash during his career, it is still a sum that might be hard to temporarily walk away from.

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