5 Carolina Panthers players fighting for bumper new deals in 2021

Dean Jones
(Bob Donnan-USA TODAY Sports) Donte Jackson
(Bob Donnan-USA TODAY Sports) Donte Jackson /
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Carolina Panthers
(Brad Rempel-USA TODAY Sports) Jermaine Carter /

Jermaine Carter – Carolina Panthers LB

It was a 2020 season that turned out to be a bit of a rollercoaster for Jermaine Carter.

He clearly didn’t hit it off with new head coach Matt Rhule – which resulted in a non-existent role on defense over the first half of the campaign. But his production when installed into the lineup was incredibly pleasing and something that gave the linebacker room a real boost when they needed it most.

Carter is heading into the final year of his rookie contract and make no mistake, he is fighting for a new deal. Providing the former fifth-round pick can build on an encouraging series of performances down the stretch, the Carolina Panthers would be wise to tie him down long-term.

The ball is very much in Carter’s court, here.

His influence has undoubtedly grown both on and off the field. But any further severe disagreements with the coaching staff could potentially be his undoing.

What Carter needs to do is provide consistency, leadership, and motivation to a young group that will be counting on Carolina’s longest-serving players to steer them in the right direction when things get a little rough.

Much will also depend on Carter’s demands.

He is counting just $988,345 against the salary cap in 2021 and has made just $2.52 million in earnings during his career so far. Meaning the player will want a substantial pay increase if things continue trending in the right direction.