4 Panthers players already fighting for their futures this season

(Jim Dedmon-USA TODAY Sports) Curtis Samuel
(Jim Dedmon-USA TODAY Sports) Curtis Samuel /
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Carolina Panthers
(Robert Hanashiro-USA TODAY Sports) Curtis Samuel /

Curtis Samuel – Carolina Panthers WR

There is a lot to like about the skills associated with Curtis Samuel. The wide receiver has enjoyed some bright moments during the 2020 season so far, but there is no denying the fact that he is the clear No. 3 option on the Carolina Panthers behind Robby Anderson and D.J. Moore.

This means that Samuel needs to make the most out of targets when they come. His showing against the Cardinals was his best of the season by some margin and he will need to keep this up if the former Ohio State standout wants to get a longer-term commitment from the Panthers next spring.

Samuel is in the final year of his rookie deal, but there is increasing uncertainty regarding whether or not a new contract will be offered or if the player would even accept it given his current standing on the depth chart.

This is something to monitor closely in the coming months. Carolina’s decision-makers opted not to move Samuel on via trade before the 2020 NFL Draft and this has put themselves between a rock and a hard place when it comes to any upcoming negotiations.

What the 2017 second-round pick can do as the campaign goes on is to increase his level of production and leave no doubt as to his importance on a roster that might be back in contention sooner rather than later. If Samuel fails to do this, then both parties may come to the conclusion that a fresh start is needed.