4 Carolina Panthers role players on course for extensions in 2023

(Photo by Jared C. Tilton/Getty Images) Sam Franklin
(Photo by Jared C. Tilton/Getty Images) Sam Franklin /
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Carolina Panthers
(Bob Donnan-USA TODAY Sports) Sam Franklin /

Sam Franklin – Carolina Panthers DB

The impressive progress made on special teams under Chris Tabor is something that’s benefitted the Carolina Panthers considerably in 2022. Kicking is assured with Eddy Pineiro and Johnny Hekker, but there are some other exceptional contributors across the board in such a key area of play.

One player standing out more than most is Sam Franklin. The former undrafted free agent has carved out his NFL niche as a core special teamer, boasting enough explosiveness and instincts to make big plays when needed.

This is something not going unnoticed by the Panthers. Interim head coach Steve Wilks is trusting Franklin much more lately and has even given him reps on the defensive rotation with Myles Hartsfield out through injury.

Franklin’s efforts in 2022 so far have come with an impressive 74.0 grade from Pro Football Focus. This is yet more proof of the impact being generated by the Temple product and could earn him a contract beyond the current campaign.

Much will depend on how the new head coach perceives the situation. But there’s little doubt Franklin couldn’t be doing much more on his continued emergence into one of the league’s most dependable special teams performers.