3 potential trade partners for Panthers OLB Shaq Thompson

(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 /

Which teams could possibly become trade partners if the Carolina Panthers try and trade outside linebacker Shaq Thompson this offseason?

The Carolina Panthers have a real problem on their hands with Shaq Thompson this offseason. The outside linebacker is set for a significant pay increase in 2021 after signing a lucrative extension. But his play during the previous campaign simply doesn’t justify this sort of financial commitment with the salary-cap being what it is due to COVID-19 revenue losses.

Thompson was highly vocal about his desire to become the Panthers‘ leader on defense following the shock retirement of Luke Kuechly. This was something that might have been prevalent off the field, but his performances on the gridiron left a lot to be desired despite attaining more than 100 tackles for a second-straight year.

Of all the players who missed Kuechly’s presence, Thompson was the hardest hit. Not having the perennial All-Pro alongside him to decipher plays and put him in the right positions consistently had a detrimental impact on his overall influence. So this has come with an uncertain future where the former first-round pick is concerned in the coming weeks.

Carolina Panthers would save money by trading Shaq Thompson.

Trading Thompson before June 1 would come with a dead-cap figure of $9.6 million, which would represent a saving of $4.58 million.

This scenario looks even better post-June 1, which results in a dead-cap sum of $3.2 million and a $10.98 million extra to spend, according to Over the Cap.

Waiting beyond this date would compromise what the Panthers need to do before then. But the prospect of moving Thompson for a draft pick is not entirely out of the question.

With this in mind, let’s take a look at three teams who might be interested in Thompson should this scenario play out.