5 Panthers players who quietly had great seasons in 2020

(Bob Donnan-USA TODAY Sports) Efe Obada
(Bob Donnan-USA TODAY Sports) Efe Obada /
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Carolina Panthers
(Photo by Will Newton/Getty Images) Teddy Bridgewater /

Which Carolina Panthers players quietly put together great seasons in 2020?

The evaluation of an eventful 2020 season can now begin after the Carolina Panthers wrapped things up with defeat against the New Orleans Saints in Week 17. It was a disappointing end to a campaign littered with ups and downs, a 5-11 record, and plenty of big decisions for head coach Matt Rhule and a new general manager to make in the coming months.

There are some positive pieces to build around. The Carolina Panthers’ rookie class looks excellent, and if they can recruit the right sort of pieces during free agency and the 2021 NFL Draft, it should come with some major improvements next time around.

Some big names have come through for the Panthers this season, even if their quarterback has not. Teddy Bridgewater is a man under considerable pressure and there appears little doubt that Carolina will look at viable long-term alternatives given his distinct lack of production that culminated in his benching during the season finale.

For now, here are four Panthers players who quietly put together great seasons in 2020.

Player No. 1

Carolina Panthers
(Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images) Marquis Haynes /

Marquis Haynes – Carolina Panthers DE/OLB

Marquis Haynes might be something of an afterthought where the defensive line is concerned. But that should detract from what an impressive contribution he’s made on a rotational basis.

The edge rusher has made some eye-catching plays in big moments, which might be enough to suggest Haynes could be in for a bigger role next time around. He has accumulated four sacks, 18 tackles, four tackles for loss, five quarterback hits, one forced fumble, and 10 pressures from just 37 percent of Carolina’s defensive snaps.

Given the uncertainty surrounding the futures of Kawann Short and Stephen Weatherly, there are plenty of reasons to be encouraged regarding his ability to build on this in 2021.

Much will depend on whether the Panthers strengthen their edge options this offseason. But Haynes has staked a positive claim, at the very least.