4 Panthers players who could be benched with poor Week 7 showing

(Bob Donnan-USA TODAY Sports) Shaq Thompson
(Bob Donnan-USA TODAY Sports) Shaq Thompson /
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Carolina Panthers
(Dale Zanine-USA TODAY Sports) Shaq Thompson /

Scouting Report. OLB. 87. Pick Analysis. CAROLINA PANTHERS. SHAQTHOMPSON. 3. player

Shaq Thompson – Carolina Panthers OLB

Big things were expected of Shaq Thompson entering the season. The linebacker made his intentions about becoming the team’s defensive leader more than clear before competitive action got underway. But his performances haven’t backed up these bold desires.

This is a major disappointment for both the player and the Carolina Panthers, who were counting on Thompson to make the necessary step-up in performance level with more responsibility on his shoulders.

There have been some nice moments from the former first-round pick. But considering what was expected prior to the campaign, it has put into question his long-term future with the organization.

It won’t take much more to convince the coaching staff that Thompson won’t be worth the big pay increase he is due next year. The Washington product’s base salary will skyrocket to $10.18 million in 2021, which he is simply not deserving of at this particular juncture.

Thompson’s sloppy play in run support has been matched by a lack of productivity in coverage. Jeremy Chinn has been carrying the linebacking corps this season through six games, which is a damning inditement of two veterans who should be doing more.

Jermaine Carter has been chomping at the bit to see some more action. If Thompson continues to struggle, then it won’t be long before his wish is granted.