5 early winners from the Carolina Panthers 2021 offseason program

Dean Jones
(Photo by Grant Halverson/Getty Images) Christian McCaffrey
(Photo by Grant Halverson/Getty Images) Christian McCaffrey /
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Carolina Panthers
(Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports) Donte Jackson /

Donte Jackson – Carolina Panthers CB

This is a big upcoming season for Donte Jackson.

And the cornerback won’t want anything messing with his money.

The former LSU star is out of contract in 2022. Jackson knows if he can remain healthy and give the Carolina Panthers more of what they saw following the Week 13 bye, then a bumper payday won’t be far behind next spring.

Much will depend on how Jackson performs. But the significant upgrade in talent around him has the potential to help his chances considerably.

No. 8 overall selection Jaycee Horn arrives at the next level with shutdown potential and A.J. Bouye is a former Pro Bowler who offers experience nobody else on the roster has.

Just these two options alone could propel Jackson to greater heights. If the likes of Keith Taylor Jr., Troy Pride Jr., and Rashaan Melvin also contribute, then the cornerback room will go from one of worry to real strength in a hurry.

It must have been nice for Jackson to see so much energy alongside him in the secondary. Jeremy Chinn moving back to safety is another hugely impactful factor that shouldn’t be overlooked, so the onus will be on the 2018 second-round pick to prove himself worthy of a lucrative extension when it’s time to head to the bargaining table.