4 Panthers players facing a fight for contract extensions in 2023

(Photo by Grant Halverson/Getty Images) Raheem Blackshear
(Photo by Grant Halverson/Getty Images) Raheem Blackshear /
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Carolina Panthers
(Jim Dedmon-USA TODAY Sports) Cory Littleton /

Cory Littleton – Carolina Panthers LB

One of the most pleasing factors to emerge under interim head coach Steve Wilks is the improved consistency from Cory Littleton. The free-agent signing is coming to the fore with every passing week, which is especially pleasing when one considers the lack of efficiency at the second level compared to other areas on defense.

Littleton is a former Pro Bowler, so the credentials are there for all to see. Things didn’t go according to plan with the Las Vegas Raiders, but the linebacker deserves praise for carving out a prominent rotational role for himself in a different environment.

There is nothing flashy about the way Littleton goes about his business. The Carolina Panthers are playing to his strengths, which stem from good instincts and coverage capabilities depending on the situation.

The former Washington stud has a 71.0 grade from Pro Football Focus for his efforts this season. It took time for Littleton to settle into his new surroundings with the Panthers, but the improvements made in recent weeks could lead to a new contract in 2023 if things continue in a similar manner.

Much obviously depends on how a new head coach perceives the situation if Wilks doesn’t get the job long-term. But Littleton has done his chances of a prolonged stay in Carolina no harm at all in 2022.

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