4 Panthers free agents in 2022 who must be paid this offseason

(Brad Mills-USA TODAY Sports) Robby Anderson
(Brad Mills-USA TODAY Sports) Robby Anderson /
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Carolina Panthers
(Jim Dedmon-USA TODAY Sports) D.J. Moore /

D.J. Moore – Carolina Panthers WR

  • 2021 salary – $3.55 million (fifth-year option available)

D.J. Moore is arguably the NFL’s most underrated wide receiver. He now has back-to-back 1,000-yard receiving seasons under his belt and the former first-round pick is only going to get better once the Carolina Panthers get someone a little more consistent under center.

Time is on Carolina’s side where an extension for Moore is concerned. They will undoubtedly pick up his fifth-year option at some stage during the offseason that comes with a 2022 cap-hit of $11.11 million. But as we’ve seen with Christian McCaffrey, the more special players get long-term deals at this point of their careers.

This is something Moore definitely warrants.

Despite some chemistry issues with Teddy Bridgewater last season, the Maryland product still managed to put up 1,193 receiving yards and four touchdowns from 66 receptions, which came from 118 targets. He averaged 18.1 yards-per-reception, was credited with seven drops and Bridgewater threw an eye-popping nine interceptions when throwing in the player’s direction.

There was clearly something amiss between the two at times. But it doesn’t appear as if the Panthers are looking at Bridgewater as their long-term option after they traded for Sam Darnold.

That spells good news for Moore, who is set to command an annual salary of $15.6 million per season on a four-year, $62.43 million deal when he heads to the bargaining table, according to Spotrac.