4 Panthers players who could be extended with extra cap space
By Dean Jones
Which Carolina Panthers players might receive contract extensions with the recent salary-cap improvements made by the organization?
The Carolina Panthers did themselves a huge favor by ridding the roster of established veterans to free-up some additional financial resources ahead of free agency. This will stand them in enormously good stead as they look to improve key positional groups in a bid to possibly enter the postseason discussion in 2021.
However, this is just half the battle.
More sacrifices need to be made in the coming weeks to sustain the long and short-term aspirations of the franchise, which will ultimately center on the Panthers‘ desire to get a significant upgrade on quarterback Teddy Bridgewater at the earliest possible opportunity.
Carolina currently has the seventh-most cap space at $37.16 million, according to Spotrac. They have their 2021 NFL Draft class to sign once the selections are made, bring in key veteran pieces on the free-agent market, and also resolve the future of players currently on the roster one way or another.
This might involve tying down some of the more talented individuals at Carolina’s disposal for the foreseeable future. Plenty of exceptional talent has left the franchise after they left it too long to begin contract negotiations under Marty Hurney, with wide receiver Curtis Samuel set to become the latest of these this spring.
On this topic, we took a look at four Panthers players who could receive extensions as a result of their recent moves to secure additional salary-cap space in the current climate.
Player No. 1
Donte Jackson – Carolina Panthers CB
Donte Jackson may have started off 2020 slowly thanks to a troublesome toe injury. But he looked every bit the No. 1 cornerback Carolina hoped he would be after they let James Bradberry walk in favor of a big-money move to the New York Giants.
This season is a big one for Jackson, who is entering the final year of his rookie deal. There are some obvious durability concerns to consider where the former second-round pick is concerned. But Jackson has shown more than enough promise to be considered as a shutdown corner who can lock up one side of the field.
The Panthers would be far worse off without Jackson, which was on full display throughout the campaign. They can ill-afford to let another talented player from their secondary leave for nothing, so tying him to a long-term deal this offseason would be the smart way to go.
It might also save them some money in the long run as there is just no telling how much Jackson will command if he builds on the positive performances we saw from the player down the stretch.