6 Carolina Panthers players who earned themselves contracts for 2022

(Jonathan Dyer-USA TODAY Sports) Ameer Abdullah
(Jonathan Dyer-USA TODAY Sports) Ameer Abdullah /
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Carolina Panthers
(Rich Barnes-USA TODAY Sports) Ameer Abdullah /

Ameer Abdullah – Carolina Panthers RB

Two days after the Minnesota Vikings’ overtime victory at the Carolina Panthers, their front office elected to release running back Ameer Abdullah, who had been primarily relegated to kick-return duties during his four years there.

Four days later, the Panthers took a flier on the former Nebraska Cornhuskers star.

In 11 games with Carolina this past season, Abdullah put up decent numbers, logging 37 percent of the team’s offensive snaps, and proved himself to be a much more reliable pass-catching back than rookie Chuba Hubbard.

Abdullah totaled 79 touches in a Panthers uniform, racking up just over 408 yards and a score.

A large portion of Abdullah’s value to this team comes from his ability to catch the ball out of the backfield. Hubbard proved to be a good runner in his first year in the league, but dealt with some drop issues, and just doesn’t quite have the same receiving prowess as the veteran or current starter Christian McCaffrey.

In far fewer snaps, Abdullah outpaced Hubbard by nearly 100 yards in the receiving department.

Now, it’s worth pointing out that Abdullah’s numbers are far from astounding, and Hubbard is without a doubt the Panthers’ second running back behind McCaffrey.

However, with the All-Pro now potentially on the trading block and unreliable from a health standpoint, there is a much likelier scenario that Abdullah could return to Carolina in 2022. The NFL is trending more and more towards becoming a passing league, and you have to have running backs who can make plays and catch the ball when it is thrown their way.