Frankie Luvu – Carolina Panthers OLB
Much like the situation with D’Onta Foreman, the performance levels of Frankie Luvu in 2022 leave no doubt as to his importance. The Carolina Panthers made the correct call by extending the outside linebacker last spring and elevating him to a prominent starting role, which saw the former Washington State standout achieve career highs across the board in double-quick time.
Luvu’s explosiveness, natural instincts, and emerging leadership are positive traits for the Panthers’ chances of genuine progress long term. There is also the prospect of a lengthy extension coming the player’s way this offseason with his current contract expiring in 2024.
The one-time New York Jet is one of few that can legitimately walk away from the season with his head held high. It wasn’t enough to get Carolina an unlikely playoff spot, but that should not detract from Luvu’s exceptional consistency and ongoing development.
Keeping him off the field in Week 18 might be something to consider. Luvu’s given absolutely everything to the cause in 2022 and if the Panthers are planning to reward him with a bigger financial commitment in the weeks ahead, risking injury in a meaningless game is a cautious, but correct approach.
Luvu is a fiery competitor who’ll want to finish strongly for interim head coach Steve Wilks. Even if it would mean almost nothing in the grand scheme of things.