How can Panthers LB Frankie Luvu take another leap forward in 2022?

(Jim Dedmon-USA TODAY Sports) Frankie Luvu
(Jim Dedmon-USA TODAY Sports) Frankie Luvu /

How can Carolina Panthers linebacker Frankie Luvu take another leap forward after catching the eye significantly during his first season with the team?

Opportunity knocks for many Carolina Panthers players next season. It’s been an eventful offseason period full of comings and goings across the roster and within the coaching staff, although many fans were disappointed to finally realize that Matt Rhule would be the man at the helm after such a disappointing campaign in 2021.

Things look promising despite many in the media already writing off Carolina’s chances. Some even have them in contention for the No. 1 overall selection, which seems asinine with the talent and improved depth across the board.

Obviously, this has to do with Rhule’s poor coaching and the ongoing uncertainty at quarterback. Something that the Panthers could resolve with another veteran trade before competitive games start.

Losing some prominent veterans on defense is another potential worry. The likes of DaQuan Jones, Haason Reddick, and Stephon Gilmore all left for pastures new, so the onus will be on others to step up and replace some outstanding production walking out of the door.

One player that will be tasked with more than most is Frankie Luvu. The Panthers made re-signing the former Washington State standout one of their top priorities before free agency, which saw the linebacker secure a well-deserved contract extension spanning two years, $4.5 million guaranteed, and a $3 million signing bonus.

This was a significant confidence boost for Luvu, who was the only Panthers player to receive an All-Pro vote in 2021 for his outstanding commitment to special teams production. However, a lot more will be asked of the player this time around and it remains to be seen just how well he’s going to cope with a potential starting role there for the taking.

Frankie Luvu has the mindset to play a bigger role for the Carolina Panthers in 2022

Luvu certainly has the mentality and relentless approach to adjust to any additional demands. He is still young enough at 25 years old to make further improvements to give his prospects another positive shot in the arm.

Last season was an encouraging one for Luvu. A player who was brought in on the cheap in free agency from the New York Jets with little in the way of expectations.

However, what comes next will be more important.

If Luvu can continue to energize, makes big plays when it matters most, and grow as a leadership presence within the locker room, then this will be another big step in the right direction.

Starting Luvu alongside Shaq Thompson and Damien Wilson has the makings of a productive linebacker trio. Although much will depend on what emerges from the free-agent signing’s recent arrest, which cannot be ignored.

Couple this with some exciting young prospects such as Amare Barno and Brandon Smith coming into the fold, things could be looking up for a positional group that’s struggled to find an identity since Luke Kuechly retired following the 2019 campaign.

Luvu has everything going for him and is beloved by the fanbase. If there is even more to come, then his status as an integral member of the roster long-term will be assured.

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And who knows, this might even be the catalyst to some major improvements on the defensive side of things when it’s all said and done.