5 more cap-saving cuts the Carolina Panthers could make soon

(Photo by Grant Halverson/Getty Images) Ian Thomas
(Photo by Grant Halverson/Getty Images) Ian Thomas /
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Carolina Panthers
(Photo by Will Newton/Getty Images) Shaq Thompson /

Shaq Thompson – Carolina Panthers OLB

  • Cap saving – $4.58 million 

This would be the biggest surprise of all. But it’s something the Carolina Panthers should discuss, at the very least.

Shaq Thompson is in line for a bumper pay increase in 2021, which will see his base salary rocket from $4 million to $10.18 million thanks to the contract he signed when Marty Hurney was the general manager.

Simply put, this doesn’t appear to be the smartest move in the world given the outside linebacker’s struggles this season.

The former first-round pick found it difficult without the cerebral presence of Luke Kuechly on the interior putting him in the right positions on almost every play. Thompson made no secret of his desire to fill the void left by the perennial All-Pro from a communication standpoint at the second level before competitive action got underway. But this big talk was not matched by his on-field performances.

Carolina might look to include Thompson in a potential trade package as they aim to get an upgrade on Teddy Bridgewater at quarterback. However, if they cannot find a willing suitor then removing him entirely is not out of the question.

Keeping Thompson for one more year is also a possibility, with releasing the player in 2022 coming with an $8.8 million saving at a time when the Panthers are expected to be flush with financial resources.