5 potentially grave errors made by the Carolina Panthers this offseason

(Jon Durr-USA TODAY Sports) Justin Fields
(Jon Durr-USA TODAY Sports) Justin Fields /
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Carolina Panthers
(Bob Donnan-USA TODAY Sports) Donte Jackson /

Carolina Panthers haven’t extended Donte Jackson (yet)

General manager Scott Fitterer is changing the team’s approach to contract negotiations. If the right situation and opportunity present itself regarding current roster members looking for new deals, then it will no longer matter to the Carolina Panthers whether the season is going on or not.

The Panthers gave Robby Anderson a two-year extension after a fantastic first year with the franchise. But there remains one white elephant in the room that could provide Carolina with growing concerns as the campaign progresses.

With Anderson and Taylor Moton’s deals locked up, it appears as if Donte Jackson will be the highest-profile free agent in 2022. The cornerback’s dealt with some injury problems throughout his career, but he looked every bit the shutdown player he was drafted to be down the stretch.

Handing Jackson a new deal before or during the season would prevent the Panthers from losing yet another top corner for nothing next spring. It might also save them some cash to spend elsewhere in the process.

There’s just no telling the money Jackson’s representatives might demand if he stays fit and enjoys a Pro Bowl-caliber campaign. Not tying him down in the near future could potentially be a mistake.

It’s a gamble, obviously. But the Panthers cannot go on losing their best defenders once their rookie contracts expire.