Panthers depth chart focus: Shaq Thompson leads new LB room

(Jim Dedmon-USA TODAY Sports) Shaq Thompson
(Jim Dedmon-USA TODAY Sports) Shaq Thompson /
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Carolina Panthers
(Bob Self/Florida Times-Union via IMAGN Content Services) Damien Wilson /

Carolina Panthers free-agent LB signings

Carolina Panthers general manager Scott Fitterer turned towards the free agency market in search of upgrades to fulfill the other two linebacker spots. Damien Wilson was the most notable arrival on a two-year contract worth nearly $7 million.

Wilson is coming off a career year with the Jacksonville Jaguars, where he finished with 106 tackles, three sacks, five passes defended, and an interception. The expectation was for him to fulfill the middle linebacker spot and serve as an upgrade to Jermaine Carter, who started every game in that role a year ago.

However, just a month after signing his deal with the Panthers, Wilson was arrested under charges pertaining to domestic violence. There’s yet to be anything reported that his status for the 2022 campaign could be in jeopardy, but this will still be a situation worth monitoring.

In addition to Wilson, the Panthers also added veteran Cory Littleton, who spent the last two seasons with the Las Vegas Raiders. He was also a stalwart for the Los Angeles Rams.

In 2018, Littleton was a second-team All-Pro and named to the Pro Bowl. While the former teammate of Shaq Thompson’s in Washington wasn’t the same player in Las Vegas that he was in Los Angeles, he’s still a serviceable veteran at this juncture of his career.

Ahead of training camp, Littleton looks like a shoo-in to line up as Carolina’s strong-side linebacker this season. Although Frankie Luvu could give him a real run for his money.