4 Panthers players who could get early extensions in 2021

(Brace Hemmelgarn-USA TODAY Sports) Robby Anderson and D.J. Moore
(Brace Hemmelgarn-USA TODAY Sports) Robby Anderson and D.J. Moore /
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Carolina Panthers
(Brad Rempel-USA TODAY Sports) Jermaine Carter /

Jermaine Carter – Carolina Panthers LB

This would be the biggest surprise of the bunch. But there is nothing to suggest that Jermaine Carter might also get a longer-term deal from the Carolina Panthers sooner rather than later.

The former fifth-round pick’s relationship with head coach Matt Rhule didn’t get off the best of starts.

There was a clear personality clash between the two which saw Carter become an afterthought in their plans during the early stages of the season. But what we saw from the linebacker when he was finally given a chance leaves plenty of reasons to be encouraged.

Carter was finally handed the starting role in favor of Tahir Whitehead, who failed to fill the void left by Luke Kuechly and struggled from the moment he stepped on the field until he was mercifully taken out of the firing line.

The Panthers might still decide to bring in some additional reinforcements to sure up the second level – which would be more of a priority if Jeremy Chinn is moved back to the safety spot – but the team’s noticeable improvement with Carter in the lineup might see him secure the No. 1 spot at middle linebacker with another offseason to develop.

If Carter takes the confidence gained this season and makes his presence felt in a more prominent way once OTAs and camps begin, then a new contract might not be that far behind.