4 Carolina Panthers players earning new deals from their efforts in 2022

(Bob Donnan-USA TODAY Sports) Brian Burns
(Bob Donnan-USA TODAY Sports) Brian Burns /
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Carolina Panthers
(Photo by Harry How/Getty Images) Cory Littleton /

Cory Littleton – Carolina Panthers LB

It was a difficult start to life with the Carolina Panthers for Cory Littleton. The versatile linebacker was found wanting earlier in the campaign with missed assignments and an overall lack of form, but there have been signs of life over the last few games that could indicate he’s worth keeping around beyond 2022.

Finding stability at the second level has been an impossible task for the Panthers since the days of Thomas Davis and Luke Kuechly. Expectations weren’t exactly high for the likes of Littleton and Damien Wilson, but they are coming on encouragingly and hopefully, can benefit significantly from having Steve Wilks as their head coach moving forward.

Littleton has come of age over the last two games, displaying conviction in his tackles and also providing an assured presence in coverage. The former Pro Bowler is still working as a rotational piece behind players like Wilson, Shaq Thompson, and Frankie Luvu depending on the situation, but his growing contribution is another key cog on a defense that certainly looks the part right now.

Much will depend on the new regime coming into the fold if Wilks doesn’t secure the job long-term. But considering money is tight, then re-signing Littleton to keep some semblance of continuity shouldn’t be dismissed entirely.