10 best Carolina Panthers players on the roster right now

(Bob Donnan-USA TODAY Sports) Christian McCaffrey
(Bob Donnan-USA TODAY Sports) Christian McCaffrey /
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Carolina Panthers
(Jim Dedmon-USA TODAY Sports) Shaq Thompson /

No. 9: Shaq Thompson – Carolina Panthers OLB

Just when it looked like the 2020 season might be a disappointing one for Shaq Thompson, the outside linebacker has risen his level of performance in recent weeks. This has resulted in an impressive upturn in the team’s fortunes and it’s no surprise that this came following the decision to finally put Tahir Whitehead on the bench.

Thompson still has much work to do between now and the end of the season to justify the large payrise coming his way in 2021. Releasing him would be a bold move by the Carolina Panthers at this juncture, but the former first-round pick has more than proved his worth of late, and long may that continue.

No. 8: Teddy Bridgewater – Carolina Panthers QB

Teddy Bridgewater has come in for his fair share of criticism in recent weeks, which is to be expected. The quarterback has found life difficult – especially down the stretch of games – so this leaves the jury still well and truly out regarding his chances of being the long-term solution after the Panthers parted ways with Cam Newton this offseason.

There has been more good than bad where Bridgewater is concerned. And it’s easy to forget this is his first time occupying a prominent starting position since 2015.

However, there is no room for sentiment in the NFL and the big-money signing during free agency needs to finish the campaign strongly more than most.

No. 7: Curtis Samuel – Carolina Panthers WR

Curtis Samuel found it difficult making his presence felt in Joe Brady’s scheme during the early portion of the season. Thankfully for the wide receiver and the Panthers, he turned things around to become one of their primary weapons once again.

The Ohio State product has become Bridgewater’s favorite target on third down and his 86.7 percent catch success rate is among the NFL’s best. This will no doubt have caught the eye of some other teams with Samuel about to become a free-agent and it remains to be seen whether Carolina can hold onto the do-it-all wideout.