4 possible 2020 trade deadline regrets for the Carolina Panthers

(Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports) Marty Hurney
(Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports) Marty Hurney /
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Carolina Panthers
(Robert Hanashiro-USA TODAY Sports) Shaq Thompson /

Not putting Shaq Thompson on the trade block

Shaq Thompson‘s level of production this season hasn’t been up to standard. Whether not having Luke Kuechly alongside him at the second level has highlighted his deficiencies more is up for debate. But it’s hard to deny that he hasn’t been a real disappointment so far.

The Carolina Panthers are set to make a big decision on Thompson following the season. The linebacker is set for a big pay increase from $4 million to just over $10 million in base salary next year as part of the four-year, $54.43 million deal he signed in 2019. This sort of financial commitment just doesn’t seem likely given the way he’s performed on the field so far.

Releasing Thompson would save the Panthers around $18.04 million over the duration of his deal. But not exploring trade options for the former first-round pick at the deadline is something that might come back to haunt them in the grand scheme of things.

They are clearly hoping Thompson can turn things around. However, if the player continues to regress then it means Carolina won’t get a draft pick in return if they do eventually decide to part ways with him in the offseason.

A contending team looking for defensive help may have taken the bait on Thompson, who might just welcome a change of scenery at this juncture.