4 Carolina Panthers players who will be on notice in 2021

(Photo by Stephen Maturen/Getty Images) Shaq Thompson
(Photo by Stephen Maturen/Getty Images) Shaq Thompson /
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Carolina Panthers
(Jeff Hanisch-USA TODAY Sports) Donte Jackson /

Donte Jackson – Carolina Panthers CB

This has nothing to do with Donte Jackson‘s production, which was eye-catching following the bye week once the cornerback returned to full health after a frustrating toe issue. But if the former LSU standout cannot rid himself of injury problems on the final year of his contract, it might make the Carolina Panthers think twice about giving the player a lucrative extension.

Jackson’s talent is there for all to see and he looked every bit the No. 1 corner down the stretch. However, next season is a crucial one for the player if he wants to get that big money from Carolina.

If Jackson can come through a full season unscathed and perhaps even increase his level of performance, then keeping him around long-term will be a no-brainer. But the Panthers will rightfully think twice about shelling out the going rate for the 2018 second-round pick if it is another stop-start campaign with little in the way reliability once again.

Hopefully, with a good period of rest and recuperation this offseason, Jackson can make a bigger impact in 2021. Carolina has some serious questions at other positions within the cornerback unit, so they’ll need their best option fit and firing on all cylinders in 2021.

It’s a huge year for Jackson, who has a lot riding on it both from a personal and financial standpoint. Nobody will be happier than the Panthers if he takes another leap forward, but the stakes are incredibly high for both parties.