5 Panthers players running out of time to earn new deals
By Dean Jones
Russell Okung – Carolina Panthers OT
Russell Okung is coming off his worst performance of the season by a considerable margin. The veteran left tackle was hung out to dry against the Broncos that left some questioning just how much the former No. 6 overall selection has left in the tank.
There is no way the Carolina Panthers will bring Okung back on the $13 million in base salary he is making in 2020. However, this proposition might look more likely if the player would take less money on a short-term deal with a view to a bigger commitment down the line.
Okung is approaching the twilight of his career. So one has to wonder just how much desire he has to suit up after accomplishing it all during his time in the NFL.
This is still a rebuilding phase for Carolina. Okung might not want to waste his final few years in the league on a team that doesn’t look like making their presence felt in the postseason.
The Panthers would also need to be convinced that Okung can be more reliable from an injury perspective. The Pro Bowler has only appeared in seven games this season and it does appear as if the cracks are beginning to show regarding his durability.
Okung has given up three sacks and four penalties from 406 snaps this season. If he is looking for a contract extension in Carolina next spring, he is running out of time to earn one.