4 Panthers players who could boost their trade value in 2022

(Bob Donnan-USA TODAY Sports) Robbie Anderson
(Bob Donnan-USA TODAY Sports) Robbie Anderson /
2 of 4
Carolina Panthers
(Rich Barnes-USA TODAY Sports) Shaq Thompson /

Carolina Panthers. SHAQ THOMPSON. 2. player. 87. . OLB

Shaq Thompson – Carolina Panthers OLB

Kicking the can down the road is something the Carolina Panthers have done with Shaq Thompson‘s contract over the last two offseasons. This has given them some extra financial resources to utilize, which could see another new quarterback coming on board depending on how Sam Darnold and Matt Corral fare in the coming weeks.

However, the chickens will soon be coming home to roost.

Thompson is set to count a whopping $24.46 million against the cap on the final year of his deal in 2023. This is major money for even the most elite outside linebackers operating across the league.

This represents a real dilemma for the Panthers. Either they take the hit, extend the former first-round pick, or look to move him on via trade next spring.

Much will depend on how Thompson performs next season. But to justify such a salary, he’ll need to be in Pro Bowl or better form throughout the campaign and also continue to inspire others as a leader within the locker room.

Trading their best second-level defender is a big call to make. Even if it would save them $13.18 million if this scenario came to fruition.

If Thompson can get over 100 tackles for a third-straight season and improve his pass-rushing capabilities, then perhaps a contending team will look in his direction for a good draft pick when the time comes.