4 Panthers players who’ve earned a big payday at the 2022 bye week
By Dean Jones
Derrick Brown – Carolina Panthers DT
There weren’t many players within the Carolina Panthers under more pressure than Derrick Brown heading into the campaign. His first two years in the league represented solid if not spectacular production, but fans were anticipating more considering he was the team’s No. 7 overall selection in 2020.
It’s always right to judge defensive linemen after Year 3. This tends to be the time when they are fully up to speed mentally and physically, so only then can their true potential come to light more often than not.
Any fears surrounding Brown have been quashed in no uncertain terms. The Auburn product has been an absolute revelation on the defensive interior, providing the Panthers with an anchor capable of causing significant disruption on almost every down.
Brown has arguably been Carolina’s best player in 2022. Although it might not arrive next spring with the organization having the luxury of picking up his fifth-year option, a bumper contract won’t be too far behind after the lineman’s proven beyond all doubt he can emerge into the elite class sooner rather than later.
It would need a huge drop-off next season for the Panthers to go in a different direction. Brown looks every bit the supreme force Carolina anticipated and the best part is further improvements could arrive with another year’s experience under his belt.