4 biggest surprises of the Panthers’ season through Week 4

(Jim Dedmon-USA TODAY Sports) Jeremy Chinn
(Jim Dedmon-USA TODAY Sports) Jeremy Chinn /
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Carolina Panthers
(Robert Hanashiro-USA TODAY Sports) Rasul Douglas /

Rasul Douglas – Carolina Panthers CB

Rasul Douglas was a late arrival to the Carolina Panthers after he was cut by the Philadelphia Eagles prior to the season. But it is clear that the cornerback is eager to make up for some lost time.

The veteran has been a shining beacon of hope in a secondary that came into the campaign with more than its share of concerns regarding their ability to perform against some high-octane offenses. Douglas has proven to be a significant asset through the first four weeks of the season and his partnership with Donte Jackson has been highly encouraging, to say the least.

Douglas has shouldered plenty of responsibility for the Panthers since he came into the starting lineup in Week 2. He has come up against some of the NFL’s best wideouts and more than held his own to thwart the threats of names such as Keenan Allen and DeAndre Hopkins in recent weeks.

Bringing him to the organization was a shrewd move by Carolina’s front office, who listened to the advice of coaches who had worked with Douglas previously. His emergence has born more significance with Eli Apple’s inability to recover from a hamstring injury and his level of production has been a big and necessary surprise.

The corner has earned a respectable 68.0 grade from Pro Football Focus as a result of his efforts. Douglas is in the final year of his deal and will make a base salary of $850,000. But the player can expect a bumper payday in Carolina or elsewhere if he continues to show out as he has of late.