3 options the Carolina Panthers have with Shaq Thompson in 2021

(Photo by Jared C. Tilton/Getty Images) Shaq Thompson
(Photo by Jared C. Tilton/Getty Images) Shaq Thompson /
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Carolina Panthers
(Bob Donnan-USA TODAY Sports) Shaq Thompson /

Carolina Panthers trade Shaq Thompson

New general manager Scott Fitterer has made no secret of his desire to generate more in the way of draft capital this spring. The Carolina Panthers backed themselves into a corner where Shaq Thompson is concerned from a contractual perspective – which is another bad extension on Marty Hurney’s resume – so they need to explore every possible option to preserve the long-term future of the organization in the most unprecedented of circumstances.

Thompson’s contract just doesn’t seem financially viable, especially with how poorly he played on the whole last season.

Want further proof?

Take a look at his base salary and cap hit over the next three years.

  • 2021: $10.18 million base salary ($14.18 million cap hit)
  • 2022: $11.2 million base salary ($15.2 million cap hit)
  • 2023: $12.36 million base salary ($16.36 million cap hit)

Thompson is a competent player when there are good options around him. But he was exposed in 2020 and the Panthers might come to the conclusion that stumping up this sort of cash for someone with such clear limitations just isn’t the way forward under the new regime who weren’t around when the former first-round pick was handed the deal.

However, getting something back on the trade market would be a possibility. Teams might look at Thompson and think a change in environment might do him some good. So although it won’t be anything like a first-rounder for the player, there is the possibility of some value being found with a willing suitor.