5 most underrated Carolina Panthers players heading into 2021

(Photo by Grant Halverson/Getty Images) Donte Jackson
(Photo by Grant Halverson/Getty Images) Donte Jackson /
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Carolina Panthers
(Brad Rempel-USA TODAY Sports) Jermaine Carter /

Jermaine Carter – Carolina Panthers LB

The 2020 season was a strange one for Jermaine Carter.

His prospects for consistent playing time looked bleak after a clear personality clash with hew head coach Matt Rhule. Had Tahir Whitehead performed a little better, the linebacker might not have seen any meaningful reps.

That wasn’t the case, obviously. Whitehead’s time with the Carolina Panthers was nothing short of a disaster and it left Rhule with no alternative other than to bring Carter in from the cold and straight into the starting lineup.

Unsurprisingly, things began to improve when Carter was manning the interior. His energy was notable and it’s clear this chip on his shoulder helped, which is a solid foundation to build ahead of an important upcoming campaign from the former fifth-round pick.

Carter should revert back to his preferred position on the outside after the Panthers signed Denzel Perryman from the Los Angeles Chargers in free agency. This is a huge opportunity for the player, who is looking for a big-money deal of his own in 2022.

Carolina’s front seven now looks to be an area of real strength. If Carter can reach or even exceed expectations next season, then the Panthers should reward him accordingly.

High stakes for Carter. But his high character and ability to lead are sure to play a pivotal role in whatever success comes Carolina’s way in the months ahead.