5 Carolina Panthers players on the hot seat heading into 2021 season

(Photo by Katelyn Mulcahy/Getty Images) Cam Erving
(Photo by Katelyn Mulcahy/Getty Images) Cam Erving /
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Carolina Panthers
(Jim Dedmon-USA TODAY Sports) Shaq Thompson /

Shaq Thompson – Carolina Panthers OLB

To think Shaq Thompson is now one of the team’s longest-serving players is unbelievable. Further proof as to how many significant changes have taken place across the roster over the last two years.

Thompson now finds himself in a precarious situation after restructuring his contract this offseason. He’ll still be a part of the Carolina Panthers throughout the 2021 season, but what occurs beyond that is something else entirely.

That is a future matter for Thompson to worry about.

What’s at the forefront of his mind right now is lending a notable contribution to a defense that could be set for great strides in the coming months if the necessary improvements are made.

The former Washington standout now has a more stable presence alongside him on the interior in Jermaine Carter, who was named the starting middle linebacker by Matt Rhule shortly before free-agent signing Denzel Perryman was traded to the Las Vegas Raiders without playing a snap.

This should assist Thompson an endless amount. He missed the cerebral Luke Kuechly manning the interior last time around and if he cannot raise his game during the upcoming campaign, it might be his final one with the organization.

There is also the emergence of Frankie Luvu – a true training camp and preseason stud – piling on an increased sense of urgency regarding Thompson’s production.