4 Panthers next on the chopping block after Christian McCaffrey trade
By Dean Jones
Shaq Thompson – Carolina Panthers OLB
Another big contract that the Carolina Panthers might be willing to move for the right price is Shaq Thompson. The outside linebacker is one of the team’s final remaining members from their memorable Super Bowl run in 2015, but there is no room for sentiment considering the current state of affairs.
Thompson became a hugely influential figure behind the scenes under previous head coach Matt Rhule. His performances on the field were largely encouraging in 2021, but if Carolina receives acceptable compensation for the Washington product, he could also see himself making the trip elsewhere before the trade deadline.
This would allow the Panthers to blend in young pieces such as Brandon Smith and see what they have. Carolina has enough draft capital to go after a talented young linebacker from the college ranks, but they must know for sure Smith’s ceiling before deciding on their next play.
After getting a bumper contract extension from Marty Hurney and two restructures, there are some substantial financial ramifications that come with trading Thompson. However, the Panthers have already shown with Christian McCaffrey and Robbie Anderson that money isn’t their primary concern.
Sports Illustrated recently reported that Carolina is willing to move on from Thompson. Whether another organization sees him as a viable asset is another matter.