5 shock departures the Panthers could trade before 2022 deadline

(Jim Dedmon-USA TODAY Sports) Yetur Gross-Matos
(Jim Dedmon-USA TODAY Sports) Yetur Gross-Matos /
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Carolina Panthers
(Bob Donnan-USA TODAY Sports) Shaq Thompson /

Shaq Thompson – Carolina Panthers LB

One major reason why the Carolina Panthers moved on from Christian McCaffrey and Robbie Anderson was financial. Both players counted a significant amount against the team’s salary cap and although trading them came with steep dead-cap ramifications, it does provide the front office with more flexibility with a new head coach coming on board in 2023.

Another with a whopping cap number next season is Shaq Thompson. The former first-round selection has a $24.46 million allocation on the final year of his deal, which could mean the Panthers move him on before the deadline for even considerable savings in the long run.

This would leave the Panthers without one of their primary defensive leaders. Thompson’s production is decent overall, but few would argue he’s worthy of such a huge sum next year.

There should be a market for Thompson if Carolina starts taking calls. His experience could help a potential contender in crucial games, but much would depend on what the Panthers are asking for in return now they have plenty of picks to call upon.

With the Panthers still harboring hopes of winning the NFC South, it might be worth keeping Thompson around for their remaining fixtures. Although that could obviously change if a good offer comes along.