5 Panthers players whose hype train is rolling ahead of 2021 season

(Jim Dedmon-USA TODAY Sports) Jaycee Horn
(Jim Dedmon-USA TODAY Sports) Jaycee Horn /
5 of 5
Carolina Panthers
(Jim Dedmon-USA TODAY Sports) Jermaine Carter /

Jermaine Carter – Carolina Panthers LB

Perhaps no Carolina Panthers player has benefitted more from the current offseason than Jermaine Carter. A far cry from what the linebacker endured last time around after getting on the wrong side of Matt Rhule before competitive action began.

Fast forward 12 months and the same head coach was naming Carter as the team’s starting middle linebacker for the 2021 season. Such is their confidence in the Maryland product, they traded Denzel Perryman to the Las Vegas Raiders – the man projected to start when he was signed in free agency from the Los Angeles Chargers.

This is the biggest of confidence boosts for Carter, who has plenty at stake heading into the final year of his deal.

He’s worked exceptionally hard to get this opportunity. Carter also received a glowing recommendation from Steve Smith Sr. during the team’s preseason finale.

Smith called Carter the leader and quarterback of the defense – a pressure the player is keen to live up to.

"“I was told of the comments. It just comes with a lot of expectations. A lot of expectations I’ve had my last three years here. I’ve been flying under the radar here, just one of the guys coming in and working hard every day. To hear him say that meant a lot, but at the same time, I’m still humble. I’m appreciative of those words, but I’m humble at the same time. I definitely embrace it.”"

light. Must Read. 5 potentially grave errors made by the Carolina Panthers this offseason

Carter is widely respected within the locker room and it might not be much longer before the same applies across the league if he reaches or even exceeds expectations in 2021.