Carolina Panthers camp: 4 players feature in Week 1 stock-watch

(Photo by Grant Halverson/Getty Images) Jermaine Carter
(Photo by Grant Halverson/Getty Images) Jermaine Carter /
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Carolina Panthers
(Photo by Elsa/Getty Images) Russell Okung /

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

DOWN: Russell Okung (LT)

Russell Okung has claimed that he is not contemplating retirement. But reports like this are not just grabbed out of thin air.

The veteran left tackle has had some serious health concerns in recent months. This caused the Pro Bowler to miss ten games with the Los Angeles Chargers in 2019. And it appears that Okung has some significant reservations about safety next time around.

This is a situation that the Carolina Panthers could not have seen coming. They made a bold move to get Okung in a deal that saw perennial Pro Bowler Trai Turner go in the opposite direction. And if the Super Bowl winner eventually decides it is not worth the risk, then they have given up a quality performer for nothing.

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All signs point to Okung being on the field Week 1. But having this playing on his mind could be a distraction that impacts his ability to produce consistently.

Okung is set to make a $13 million base salary in the final year of his deal in 2020. Even though he has made a substantial amount during his time in the league. This sort of figure in the twilight of his career is something that is going to be hard to walk away from.

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The Panthers will need Okung fit and capable to give quarterback Teddy Bridgewater the necessary blindside protection he needs. But with so many other factors to consider for the lineman, his stock has fallen thanks to this uncertainty.