4 burning questions facing the Carolina Panthers LBs in 2021

Dean Jones
(Bob Donnan-USA TODAY Sports) Shaq Thompson
(Bob Donnan-USA TODAY Sports) Shaq Thompson /
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(Brad Rempel-USA TODAY Sports) Jermaine Carter /

Can Jermaine Carter hold Carolina Panthers MLB1 long-term?

It’s been a memorable offseason for Jermaine Carter. He put the momentum generated over the second half of 2020 to good use almost from the moment he stepped into training camp, getting the majority of first-team reps on the interior and making his presence felt in multiple ways.

Carter’s athleticism and instincts are well-known and respected. But his communication from the second level has also improved significantly in recent months.

This was sorely lacking in the immediate aftermath of Luke Kuechly’s retirement. So it came as no surprise to see Matt Rhule name Carter as the starting middle linebacker heading into the 2021 campaign.

Not many predicted this before camp following the arrival of Denzel Perryman in free agency from the Los Angeles Chargers. Carter won the job fair and squad, with the Panthers even going as far as to trade the former Miami star to the Las Vegas Raiders for a late-round draft pick.

To say this is a big opportunity for Carter would be understating things slightly.

The former fifth-round pick is heading into the final year of his rookie deal as a starting player of which much is expected. If he can raise his game accordingly, then Carolina would be left with no option other than to give him another deal next spring.

It’s hard not to love the way Carter goes about his business. Hopefully, for the player and the Panthers, he continues to impress and becomes Kuechly’s long-term successor in the process.

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